Star Wars: Gautam Gambhir v Zaheer Khan

Can Zaheer stop Gambhir’s onslaught in the initial overs? The players would know each other’s games quite well.

Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan.

They are two Indian stalwarts who have shared many moments together in the Indian dressing room. In the Indian Premier League, they find themselves pitted against each other leading their respective teams. While Gautam Gambhir has enjoyed success with Kolkata Knight Riders, leading it to the championship title, Zaheer is yet to steer Delhi Daredevils to the top. Zaheer is also an ‘only IPL’ player, having shunned professional cricket otherwise. In contrast, Gautam Gambhir likely still harbours hopes of a comeback for India; he featured in the recently-concluded home season for India, playing a Test after two years.

In the current IPL season, Gambhir’s run-making has been consistent. He has got starts in quite a few matches, and has scored three half-centuries (two of them unbeaten knocks) to average above 50 in seven innings. Knight Riders’ batting has been solid this season so far; Gambhir’s contributions at the top of the order have been ably supported by exceptional middle-order performances.

Zaheer will be another experienced player eager to give his team a good start, albeit with the ball. Zaheer’s side finds itself occupying the spot second from bottom in the points table, and therefore, a victory will be desired by the under-performing side to keep itself afloat. Can Zaheer stop Gambhir’s onslaught in the initial overs? The players would know each other’s games quite well.

If Zaheer out-foxes Gambhir and dents the top order, he will have given his team a chance to create an upset. Left-arm batsman v left-arm bowler - over to Friday.