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Big test for captain Karthik as KKR seek to arrest slump

PTI
Published : Apr 16, 2018, 12:52 am IST
Updated : Apr 16, 2018, 12:53 am IST

Shami has turned out in all the three matches for DD and a team official said there's no question of his availability.

KKR’s Kuldeep Yadav (from left), Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik.
 KKR’s Kuldeep Yadav (from left), Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik.

Kolkata: Skipper Dinesh Karthik will face a big test when a struggling Kolkata Knight Riders lock horns with a resurgent Delhi Daredevils, led by double title winning former KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir, in a much-anticipated IPL clash here on Monday.

After back-to-back defeats, Karthik-led KKR will be desperate for a revival, while Delhi will hope to continue their momentum after snapping a two-match losing streak in style against Mumbai Indians.

Kolkata had made a winning start to their campaign against Royals Challenger Bangalore but successive defeats to Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the next two matches have put them in a spot of bother.

Delhi, on the other hand, lost to Kings XI Punjab in their opener and then went down against Rajasthan Royals in a rain-hit match. But the Gambhir-led side bounced back in style against Mumbai with Jason Roy smashing an unbeaten 91 in his debut match for DD.

DD's Kolkata leg fixture means their Team India speedster Mohammed Shami is all set to return to his home town for the first time after his wife had accused him of infidelity and domestic abuse last month a controversy that had hogged the headlines. In the latest development, Jahan has filed a case at Alipore court on April 10 and Shami has been summoned within 15 days.

Shami has turned out in all the three matches for DD and a team official said there's no question of his availability. On the field, it will be Gambhir who will have the upper hand despite DD’s poor 8-12 head-to-head record against KKR.

Gambhir, who was associated with KKR since 2011, has better knowledge of the conditions and he will be keen to make a point against his former franchise, who did not retain him this year. Included in the DD side at the expense of Colin Munro, Roy showed his prowess with a sizzling display as the Englishmen smashed his career best T20 score to pull off a tricky last ball victory.

Gambhir can heave a sigh of relief after their batting combination clicked following some experimentation in the first two matches. He too would like to score some runs against his former franchise.

As DD look to climb up the table, KKR will be keen to arrest their slide and they will have to do a lot of soul-searching first.    

Tags: dinesh karthik, delhi daredevils