IPL 2018, KKR vs DD Match Prediction: Who will win today's match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils
KKR take on DD in a match between two sides on the opposite end of finding the right balance. While Kolkata Knight Riders won their opening game, they lost the next two and have been chopping and changing, trying to find the right balance. Delhi Daredevils, meanwhile, are won their last game after losing the first two and finally look to have a settled line-up with designated roles for each player.
KKR got off to the perfect start to IPL 2018, beating RCB at home. But since then it hasn't gone according to plan as they will go into the game against Delhi looking to avoid losing three games in a row. Muddled thinking with respect to the batting line-up and their pace attack's inability to make the most of home conditions has been the recurring problem for KKR.
As far as DD are concerned, they look to have solved a key problem at the top of the order. With plenty of batting fire power, the decision to open with Jason Roy and have Rishabh Pant at No.3 proved to be a master stroke against MI. They will look to continue the same against KKR and look to reverse their poor form at the Eden Gardens, where they have won just one game in the IPL and are currently on a four-game losing streak at the ground.
Let's take a look at how the match might turn out:
Date: April 16
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Time: 20:00 IST
If Kolkata Knight Riders bat first
Predicted score: 160+
Three changes to the side for their second home game of the season that brought their second successive loss brought with it its own questions. Why bat Shubman Gill so far down the batting order? Why not open with Sunil Narine again? And why wait so long to get Shivam Mavi involved in the game?
Going into the game against DD, a side against whom they enjoy a very good record in the IPL, KKR have plenty of questions to answer. The simplest solution to all of this will be if their star batsmen just step up. Chris Lynn is slowly kicking into gear but they need him to be at his most destructive self.
Dinesh Karthik needs to give himself more time at the crease and figure out what Robin Uthappa and Sunil Narine's roles are in the side. While Andre Russell can provide some firepower with the bat in the middle-order, he also needs to give Gill more time to show just why he has been such a revelation in U-19 cricket.
Against Delhi Daredevils side that is slowly kicking into gear, KKR will need at least 160 and that can be easily achieved if their top-order fires as a unit and not just as individuals. It certainly won't be easy as Trent Boult (former KKR player) and Mohammad Shami (Bengal pacer) have prior knowledge of how the pitch behaves at Eden Gardens.
If Delhi Daredevils bat first
Predicted score: 170+
Going against convention, DD decided to drop Chris Morris and bring back Daniel Christian into the side. That along with the introduction of Jason Roy proved to be two important master strokes as DD finally got their first win on the board in the competition. They are unlikely to change a winning combination and that might mean that Morris misses out again.
Jason Roy and Gautam Gambhir at the top of the order not only gives Delhi a left-right combination that bowlers will find difficult to adjust to but also the perfect mix of power and precision. The decision to promote Pant to No.3 also paid dividends and gave them more fire power at the top.
With the likes of Glenn Maxwell and Daniel Christian to follow that formidable top-order, DD should have enough in the bank to get the better of a KKR bowling line-up that is far from settled.
With Gautam Gambhir locked down for one spot, it will be interesting to see if Delhi persist with Munro or give someone like Iyer or Gambhir a go at the top of the innings. Whoever opens, Delhi still have an explosive middle-order with Rishabh Pant, Glenn Maxwell and Chris Morris in the middle-order.
Against a bowling attack that isn't settled, DD should have enough fire power to put on an above-par total, even on a track that should offer a little something for the bowlers. While a total of over 170 is certainly on the cards, a lot will depend on whether they get off to a flyer.
With the kind of batting fire power they possess in the middle-order, KKR will have a hard time containing them even if they have a strong spin attack with plenty of pace in the pace department.
While history would suggest that this should be a KKR win, given how both teams stack up, this is anything but straightforward. Although the Kolkata Knight Riders will have home advantage, their inexperience and over reliance on key players might just be their undoing in this. With a powerful batting line-up that is good enough to tear apart any bowling attack, Delhi Daredevils will go into the game as favorites and should have enough in the tank to come out on top.