Delhi Dardevils are languishing at the bottom of the points table and a lot depends on the opening duo of Sehwag and Warner to once again take their side to a total that can be defended by the bowlers. But the real worry for them would be the form of their bowlers. Morne Morkel apart, none of the other bowlers have appeared consistently threatening. And given the calibre of batsmen in the KKR ranks, anything short of an inspirational spell from daredevils bowler can cost them the match and twin invaluable points.
Irfan Pathan, Delhi's big-ticket signing this season has recovered well from his injury but his too far away from his best. On his day, he can be a devastating lower-order batsman and a incisive swing bowler, but it seems to appear that he needs some more time on the bench to regain his thought process and prowess.
While Delhi wouldn't like to take the risk of dropping Pathan, but it would serve them if they bring in the enigmatic Ajit Agarkar and give him a prolonged run to get back his rhythm.
For Kolkata, the onus will once again be with captain Gautam Gambhir to steady the innings and set the platform for the likes of Yousuf Pathan to come and launch an out and out assault. They must also find a way to bring back Brett Lee in to the bowling attack and add more teeth to it. Apart from a minor glitch in the bowling department, Kolkata appear as the favourites unless of course Delhi are boosted by something really inspirational in the manner as Ishant Sharma did on April 27.
Contests to Watch out for:
Irfan vs Yousuf: The brothers who learnt their trade together will once again be on the opposite sides. And given the current preformance of the duo, it really becomes interesting to see as to who comes out of the slump in form. Yousuf appears the most likely winner.
Morkel vs Gambhir: The lanky South African has always troubled the Indian opener and it would be really interesting to see if Sehwag asks him to bounce the KKR skipper out.
Sehwag vs Shakib: Sehwag's disdain for spinners and more so for the Bangladeshi bowlers has become a subject of the folklore. If Sehwag stays until Shakib is introduced, then the rest is best left to imagination.