The two sides will face off once again but this time at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Friday. The tie will be ‘homecoming’ for the Capitals’ new advisor Sourav Ganguly with the match in the backyard of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president.
The clash though goes much beyond Ganguly as it is a critical one for the Capitals, who are languishing in the middle of the table with three wins and three losses after six games. The Delhi franchise are already dealing with a couple of injury concerns forcing them to hold trials for replacements.
No such concerns for the home team, KKR though, as they replaced injured Anrich Nortje with a young Australia tearaway Matt Kelly. The hosts have most of the bases covered, especially with Andre Russell firing on all cylinders with 257 runs so far at a strike-rate of 212.39 this season.
The Capitals had found the answer to Russell but it was only in the Super Over with Kagiso Rabada rattling Russell’s stumps with a pin-point yorker. The visitors will need more of the same from their pace bowlers if they want to stop the marauding Knight Riders in their own den.
Chennai Super Kings and MS Dhoni showed that KKR could be tied down by quality spin while Capitals showed the ability to take on the home side’s bowlers led by Prithvi Shaw’s 99 in the last encounter between the two sides.
Dinesh Karthik & Co. will definitely have revenge on their mind and an eye on the top spot on the points table when they take on the Capitals.
Players to watch out for
Rishabh Pant: Just days ahead of World Cup selection meeting, this knock could be crucial for the young Delhi wicketkeeper. Although selectors are claiming that IPL performances will not have impact on the selection, but a big knock like KL Rahul’s century the other night. Pant has been inconsistent so far after scoring 78 in his opening game of the season. The Capitals and Pant himself will be keen on making a mark in this game.
Andre Russell: No total is out of reach for KKR when this man is in the middle. The big West Indian hasn’t put a foot wrong so far this season and hosts will be banking on his broad willow once again. Russell had found the Capitals attack to his liking, scoring a 28-ball 62 in the thrilling last encounter between the two sides.
Delhi Capitals: There are a couple of injury concerns surrounding Rahul Tewatia and Harshal Patel. All-rounder Jalaj Saxena could be a useful spin option to replace Tewatia in the line-up
Kolkata Knight Riders: They announced the signing of Australian paceman Matt Kelly on Thursday but he might not be available for Friday’s match. After a poor batting display in Chennai, KKR might want to think about introducing Carlos Brathwaite at the venue where he won West Indies the 2016 World T20 title with four successive sixes.
KKR: Dinesh Karthik (capt), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite/Harry Gurney, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna and Nitish Rana
DC: Shreyas Iyer(capt), Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant(wk), Colin Ingram, Axar Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, Chris Morris/Trent Boult, Jalaj Saxena/ Hanuma Vihari and Sandeep Lamichhane
The Teams (From)
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (capt), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Nikhil Naik, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe, Nitish Rana, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Harry Gurney, KC Cariappa, Matt Kelly and Yarra Prithviraj.
Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer(capt), Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant(wk), Colin Ingram, Keemo Paul, Axar Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Amit Mishra, Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, Hanuma Vihari, Ankush Bains, Harshal Patel, Manjot Kalra, Chris Morris, Sherfane Rutherford, Jalaj Saxena, Sandeep Lamichhane, Trent Boult, Avesh Khan, Nathu Singh, Bandaru Ayyappa, Colin Munro.
First Published: April 11, 2019, 7:59 PM IST