It will be a chance for Delhi Capitals to flex their bowling muscles against a buoyant Kolkata Knight Riders batting unit when the two teams meet in Sharjah on Saturday.
Kolkata’s win against Rajasthan Royals was set up by a responsible 34-ball 47 from Shubman Gill, before the young pace duo of Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti made light work of the Royals’ batting with help from Pat Cummins.
Mavi and Cummins bowled five of the six overs in the powerplay in the last game, picking up one wicket each.
Interestingly, Andre Russell was promoted up the order — he walked in at the end of the 10th over — against Rajasthan and the all-rounder scored a 14-ball 24. Russell’s batting position was a bone of contention for KKR last season, with the Jamaican expressing his disappointment at getting too few balls to face.
Andre Russell. (Photo: BCCI/IPL) – BCCI/IPL
But now with Eoin Morgan in the squad to share the responsibility of finishing the innings, Russell could bat at No. 4 to neutralise Delhi’s well-rounded bowling attack in the middle overs. Gill’s form at the top of the order will inspire confidence in the team management.
In the bowling department, their pacers were complemented by mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy, who had figures of two for 25 against Rajasthan. In the end, the Knight Riders needed just three overs from frontline spinner Kuldeep Yadav and none from Russell.
Bowling strong suit
On the other hand, the backbone of the Capitals’ top order — Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant — came undone against a disciplined Sunrisers Hyderabad attack. The battle between Capitals batsmen and Chakravarthy could be particularly enticing if KKR’s last two matches are anything to go by. The batsmen were apprehensive about attacking him.
However, it’s Capitals’ bowling that has held them in good stead time and again. In Kagiso Rabada, it has a bowler who can bowl probing spells upfront and at the death. His duel with Russell could very well decide the course of the match.
Kagiso Rabada. (Photo: BCCI/IPL) – BCCI/IPL
Capitals’ bowling coach Ryan Harris on Friday said that Ravichandran Ashwin “might be available for selection” against KKR, which will be a shot in the arm for Shreyas Iyer and Co. Ashwin had sustained a shoulder injury during Delhi’s opening match against Kings XI Punjab.
The key men
The game will be yet another opportunity to see in-form Gill, who has 124 runs from three matches including a fifty. For Delhi, Rabada with the ball will be the player to watch out for.
Match: DC vs KKR
Date: Saturday, October 03, 2020
Time: 7:30 PM
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah