The champions of the fifth edition of IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders clash with Delhi Daredevils in their first match of Champions League Twenty20 at SuperSport Park, Centurion on Saturday.
The Delhi camp would be upbeat after Virender Sehwag was declared fit to play the first match against Kolkata following an ankle injury which he sustained during the World Twenty20 match against South Africa. Mahela Jayawardene and David Warner have been in good touch, but the indifferent form of Sehwag would be a concern for Delhi.
Not to forget, Kevin Pietersen will also be part of the team after his brief hiatus from Test cricket due to controversial reasons and the right-handed batsman is short of match practice. But players like Pietersen and Sehwag just need one game to bounce back to form.
The battle between the top IPL sides will add spark to the multi-million dollar competition, scheduled to begin on Saturday.
Delhi's pace bowling would be led by Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav and Irfan Pathan, while the spin department looks barren without a specialist bowler and maybe Pietersen can roll his arms.
On the other hand, Kolkata have to deal with the form slump of captain Gautam Gambhir and his team would like to see him get back to runs at the earliest to give mileage to their batting. Moreover, Kolkata will heavily bank on the batting of Jacques Kallis, Brendon McCullum and Yusuf Pathan.
The only weak link to Kolkata - is their bowling, led by the mystery spinner Sunil Narine, Brett Lee and Laxmipathy Balaji and fill in bowlers, Shakib Al Hasan and Iqbal Abdulla. The West Indian offspinner won't pose much threat to the opposition because most batsmen would have sorted him out by now.
Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Brendon McCullum, 3 Jacques Kallis, 4 Yusuf Pathan/Manoj Tiwary, 5 Rajat Bhatia, 6 Manvinder Bisla, 7 Shakib Al Hasan, 8 Brett Lee, 9 Laxmipathy Balaji, 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Iqbal Abdulla
Delhi Daredevils: 1 Mahela Jayawardene, 2 Virender Sehwag, 3 David Warner, 4 Kevin Pietersen, 5 Andre Russell/Unmukt Chand, 6 Ross Taylor, 7 Irfan Pathan, 8 Umesh Yadav, 9 Morne Morkel, 10 Naman Ojha 11 Ajit Agarkar