But going by their first game at home against the Chennai Super Kings this week, it’s unlikely to happen anytime soon. Kotla was once again low and slow where the Capitals struggled to handle Dwayne Bravo and his slower cutters. The next challenge for the Capitals will be in-form Kolkata Knight Riders in their next clash on Saturday evening.
If Saturday’s clash features a similar surface, the Capitals can expect further trouble in the shape of KKR left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav, offspinner Sunil Narine and legspinner Piyush Chawla.
Delhi got off to an impressive start this season with a 37-run win over Mumbai Indians. The likes of Dhawan, Ingram and Rishabh Pant were architects of the win. But it’s the bowling attack that will need some tinkering, especially the spin department to help out legspinner Amit Mishra.
KKR batting has been mighty impressive in both their matches this season. Nitish Rana, who is Delhi one-day and T20 captain, will enjoy a homecoming at the Kotla after successive half-centuries in his first two matches this season.
West Indian all-rounder Andre Russell has been the perfect finisher for KKR so far, scoring 49 off 19 balls and 48 off 17 balls in the two matches so far. Apart from them, KKR have the likes of Chris Lynn and Narine, who are yet to find their groove but Robin Uthappa has looked impressive so far this season.
Players to watch out for:
Rishabh Pant: The Delhi wicketkeeper-batsman got his season off to a flying start against the Mumbai Indians and was looking impressive against Chennai Super Kings in the last match, scoring a 13-ball 25. Pant is the only Delhi batsman to have consistently handled the slow-nature of Kotla consistently well over the last two seasons. The Capitals will need him to fire once again against the spin-heavy Knight Riders side.
Andre Russell: The West Indies all-rounder has been in sensational form so far this season. Russell has a strike-rate of 269 this season, well over his career IPL strike-rate of 180. He’ll find the short boundaries of Kotla to his liking and will be one of the biggest threats to Delhi Capitals on Saturday night.
Team News/ Availability:
Delhi Capitals: South African all-rounder Chris Morris has joined the squad on Thursday and should be available for captain Shreyas Iyer for Saturday’s clash. Morris provides pace in the bowling department and big-hitting ability with the bat.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik-led side don’t have any injury issue and have looked a settled outfit with two wins under their belt in Kolkata. They are unlikely to make any change for the next clash against Delhi.
Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Kasigo Rabada, Axar Patel, Chris Morris/Trent Boult, Colin Ingram and Keemo Paul/Sandeep Lamichhane
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Dinesh Karthik (capt), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite/Lockie Ferguson, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Nitish Rana and Prasidh Krishna
Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Kasigo Rabada, Axar Patel, Chris Morris, Colin Munro, Avesh Khan, Bandaru Ayyappa, Harshal Patel, Nathu Singh, Sandeep Lamichhane, Trent Boult, Hanuma Vihari, Jalaj Saxena, Keemo Paul, Rahul Tewatia, Ankush Bains, Sherfane Rutherford, Colin Ingram and Manjot Karla.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (capt), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Nitish Rana, Nikhil Naik, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Harry Gurney, K C Cariappa and Yarra Prithviraj.
First Published: March 29, 2019, 7:55 PM IST