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   Kolkata Knight Riders will look to start with a win
IPl season 5, Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Daredevils, IPL,  Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Daredevils, IPL 2012 Schedule, IPL Teams 2012

Kolkata Knight Riders will look to improve upon its record this season. The side opens its campaign in IPL V with a home match against Delhi Daredevils at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.

Full of confidence on the eve of the season opener, Knight Riders have almost all its players available for selection, while the same cannot be said of the visiting side. The biggest setback for Daredevils is that four of its match-winning players — Kevin Pietersen, David Warner, Mahela Jayawardene and Ross Taylor — will not be available.

Yet, Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir will not take the opposition lightly. He knows that given the format of the competition, it will be important to start off with a win. And the team is surely geared up for the task.

Playing away, and that too against a team like KKR which has many talented players in its side, Daredevils will bank on captain Virender Sehwag to give it a flying start.

Leading the side for the second year in a row, Sehwag has a good outfit, but missing four key players is certain to hurt the side.

Delhi's success will depend on how its domestic players acquit themselves during the initial phase of the tournament.

Knight Riders will look to open the batting with an explosive Brendon McCullum and the dependable Jacques Kallis. With the skipper coming in next, its domestic players — the likes of Manoj Tiwary — who come further down the order can hope for a launch pad.

Daredevils coach Eric Simmons admitted that the team lacked a marquee name.

“The only thing we lack is a big name — someone with a reputation. We have really worked hard with the players.

“There are some exciting guys like Roelf van der Merwe with some international experience. He is the key for us. Then there are Shahbaz Nadeem and Pawan Negi.

“We are working on a few ideas in our spin department to surprise other teams.

“I think we have a capable bunch of spinners,” he said.

“We expected Ross Taylor to be here, but we knew Mahela (Jayawardene) and (Kevin) Pietersen would not be available. But he is injured. That's the nature of the IPL... You have to chart your way through. It is disappointing, though,” Simons added.
Wed 04 Apr, 2012,10:22:30 PM
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