The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) face the Delhi Daredevils in the opening match of the 2013 Indian Premier League, at the famous Eden Gardens stadium in Kolkata. This is the sixth season of the glamorous IPL Twenty20 series.

Brad Hodge of Kolkata Knight Riders

Where to Watch Live

The match starts at 3.30pm BST. Live coverage is on ITV 4 and ITV 4 HD. Follow the match live, via text updates, on ESPN Cricinfo.


KKR are flying high after a superb win in the final last year. The win was made all the sweeter by the fact it was a maiden title triumph and came in the backyard of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the league's most successful team.

However, the 2012 championship should not mask the fact KKR still have a long way to go before matching MS Dhoni and CSK. They do have experienced and top-class squad members, with the likes of New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum and Australian seamer James Pattinson capable of wrecking any score or batting line-up. But both players are injured and unavailable for this match.

In addition, form is a concern for captain Gautam Gambhir and South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis; neither has impressed for their national teams coming into the IPL and will need to find their feet early. Kallis will be particularly tested, not having played since a hamstring problem in early February.

Finally, a second consecutive championship will need KKR to improve on home form. They won seven of eight games on the road last season but won only three of seven at home.

Daniel Vettori

Meanwhile, the Daredevils, on paper, are a very strong side. The reality, though, is far from that. Hard-hitting England all-rounder Kevin Pieterson has been ruled out of the entire tournament, Kiwi James Ryder is in hospital after a vicious bar fight, Sri Lankan veteran Mahela Jayawardene is coming off an injury himself and the explosive Virender Sehwag is in horrible form.

This means Australian David Warner is now almost the sole hope of strong starts with the bat. The good news, though, is that with the likes of South Africans Morne Morkel and Johan Botha and Sri Lankan Jeevan Mendis, the bowling line-up is capable of troubling almost any side in the tournament. And they may well have to.

Team News

KKR: McCullum is recovering from a hamstring injury suffered in the series against England last month and Pattinson has been advised to rest by Cricket Australia, after their tour of India. Gambhir has recovered from a bout of jaundice, though, and should be available. Bangaldeshi all-rounder Shakib Al-Hasan is also unavailable.

Daredevils: The men from the capital will have the tragic fate of Ryder at the back of their minds but will come to Kolkata determined to win. Their biggest problem, though, is the loss of Pieterson. The Englishman is devastating when in the mood, as he showed during the Mumbai Test in November. The addition of the spin duo of Botha and Mendis will strengthen the bowling options.