Tournament opener hit by injuries | PunterPolls Prediction
For much of IPL 2012, Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Daredevils were the form teams favoured to make it to the summit clash. Knight Riders got there and won it, putting the horrors of seasons past behind them. Daredevils always promised so much, but in 2012 they inexplicably left out top wicket-taker Morne Morkel from the knockout against Chennai Super Kings, a decision that contributed to their heavy defeat.
The pre-season build-up has been bad news for Daredevils, who have had to suffer high-profile pullouts. Kevin Pietersen will miss the entire tournament due to a knee injury sustained in New Zealand, while Jesse Ryder was set to fly to India before being assaulted in Christchurch. The franchise has just replaced him with the Australian batsman Ben Rohrer, but their troubles do not end there.
Virender Sehwag, who captained Daredevils last year, has been ruled out of the opening game on Wednesday after he suffered back spasms and was advised rest. Morkel will miss at least the first game because he is in South Africa representing Titans in the final stages of their domestic T20 competition. Mahela Jayawardene, who took over as full-time captain, will have to deal with a depleted batting line-up. Read more
Stats and trivia
- Knight Riders have a 5-4 edge in 10 IPL games between these two teams (one match abandoned). In the last five matches between these two teams, Knight Riders have won four and lost one.
- In IPL 2012, Knight Riders' spinners took the most wickets at the best average and economy rate: 43 at 19.65, conceding 6.34 runs per over. Daredevils' spinners were the least effective, taking 18 wickets at 40.72, with an economy rate of 7.63.
- The average run-rate for Daredevils' opening partnerships in all IPL matches is 8.87 runs per over, the best among all teams. Knight Riders' opening stands have been far more sedate - they average 7.46 runs per over.
RESULT Match 1: KKR v Daredevils, 3 April
Kolkata Knight Riders51%
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