With their campaign back on track, both Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders would look to carry their winning momentum forward when they clash in an Indian Premier League match at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground here on Monday.
Both the teams have witnessed similar fortunes in the last two weeks, where they won the first two matches and then succumbed to three consecutive loses before bouncing back with a comprehensive win in their last outing.
While Delhi brought their campaign back on track with a 17-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on March 25, on Saturday night Knight Riders snapped their three-game losing streak with an emphatic 39-run win over the Kings XI Punjab in Mohali.
However, with little to differentiate between the two teams and fortunes fluctuating so quickly in this format, it would be difficult to predict the favourites.
Despite not having skipper Gautam Gambhir up its rank, Delhi still boosts of a devastating batting order with Virender Sehwag, David Warner up front and AB de villiers, Tillakaratne Dilshan in the middle-order.
Sehwag played terrific knocks of 75 and 74 against Rajasthan and Chennai respectively in the initial stages of the tournament but missed out in the last two ties and skipper-in-charge Dinesh Karthik would be hoping that swashbuckling opener fires on Monday.
De Villiers have come good in the last match, scoring a well-made 45. And a little known Kedar Jadhav have also shown his mantle with a blistering 29-ball 50 against Bangalore.
However, Karthik, himself has not been in good form and apart from 46 against Deccan Chargers, he has nothing to show.
In the bowling front, Parvez Maharoof and Dirk Nannes have done the job for the Delhi so far but their highest wicket taker is spinner Amit Mishra, who have done a good job in restricting the run flow of the opponent teams.
Pradeep Sangwan and Sarabjit Ladda have also contributed when given a chance.
In comparison, Kolkata lacked power-hitters who can give the team that X-factor to put an additional 10-15 runs on board and although yesterday Manoj Tiwary provided some late fireworks, skipper Sourav Ganguly would be hoping to find someone to do the job for them in the last overs.
Chris Gayle’s inclusion has given the team a lease of fresh air. Although he missed out on Saturday, but the West Indian opener made his intentions clear during his 60-ball 75 against Mumbai Indians in his first IPL match of the season.
Australia David Hussey’s joining has given the much-needed impetus to Kolkata’s batting department.
Skipper Ganguly too seemed in good touch, even though he looked a little rusty when it came to accelerating. Tiwary have done the job for the team twice but if Kolkata have to do well tomorrow, their batters have to fire in unison.
On the bowling front, Shane Bond have done a reasonable job for Kolkata upfront. But Ishant Sharma, who has six wickets in his kitty, and Ashok Dinda have been expensive.
Ajit Agarkar shone in his first outing yesterday, claiming claimed two crucial wickets.
The spin department is being spearheaded by Murali Karthik, who have troubled the opposition batsmen on more than one occasions.
Apart from left-arm spinner, Gayle have also done a decent enough job with his slow spinners.
All in all, the match is evenly-poised for both the teams as whoever wins the encounter will be back in contention for a semifinal spot.