Pune, May 21: So, here we are. Finally, it is time for the play-offs in IPL 5. After an exhausting set of 72 matches, only four stand between us and spotting a winner on May 27 in Chennai.
The Qualifier 1 will see table toppers Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders battling it out on Tuesday night at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium.
Yet again, Delhi pals Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir will walk out for the toss forgetting friendship.
These two teams have been the best in the league. When they met earlier, the head-to-head record stood 1-1. On April 5, Delhi won by eight wickets at Kolkata'a home, Eden Gardens. When Kolkata visited Delhi, they returned the favour on May 7, winning by six wickets.
The contest will revolve around Delhi's batsmen versus Kolkata's bowlers. The match will be decided by this battle.
The winner here straight away heads into the May 27 final in Chennai. However, the loser gets one more chance to take a shot at a place in Chennai as they play the winner of Eliminator (May 23) between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
Delhi's heavy batting could take the game away from Gambhir's side. However, if Sehwag and David Warner fail to fire at the top of the order, then it will be advantage for Kolkata.
Last time, when these two teams met, Sehwag did not face mystery spinner Sunil Narine, who has been the top slow bowler in IPL 5. His bag of tricks have bamboozled many batsmen.
After the match, Sehwag, in his usual style, had said he could have smashed Narine. Will the Delhi captain keep up his words on Tuesday? Or will we not see that contest?
Kolkata's batting will be shouldered by Gambhir, who has been in fine form. Brendon McCullum, if he gets a chance, is also the one to watch out for.
Delhi's pace battery could rattle Kolkata's batsmen. Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron are in good nick. The trio can be a big headache for the opposition.
These two teams will be up against each other in a neutral territory. The pitch in Pune was slow in earlier games and might not be a big-scoring affair tomorrow.
Delhi seem to hold edge with their batting firepower and also pacemen. It should be an exciting contest.
Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag (captain), Mahela Jayawardene, Ajit Agarkar, Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Puneet Bisht, Robin Bist, Naman Ojha (wicketkeeper), Shahbaz Nadeem, Venugopal Rao, Vikas Mishra, Yogesh Nagar, Zafir Patel, Sunny Gupta, Tejashwi Yadav, Aavishkar Salvi, Kuldeep Raval, Manpreet Juneja, Pawan Negi, Prashant Naik, Aaron Finch, Andre Russell, Doug Bracewell, Glenn Maxwell, Gulam Bodi, Morne Morkel, Roelf van der Merwe.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Brendon McCullum (wicketkeeper), Jacques Kallis, Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Debabrata Das, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Rajat Bhatia, Sunil Narine, Brett Lee, Iqbal Abdulla, Chirag Jani, Iresh Saxena, Jaidev Unadkat, Manvinder Bisla, Pradeep Sangwan, Sanju Samson, Sarabjit Singh Ladda, Mohammad Shami Ahmed, Eoin Morgan, Marchant de Lange, Ryan ten Doeschate and Shakib Al Hasan.
Match starts at 8PM IST