The 42nd game of the IPL will be played between two teams in the top four, Kolkata Knight Riders who are currently fourth and Delhi Capitals, the league leaders. However, the circumstances and the atmosphere in both the differences have been completely different. Kolkata have just not been themselves this season and have not stood up to their expectations at all.
Delhi, on the other hand, have been one of the most improved franchises this season. Be it the batting department or the bowling the team has been firing from all ends this season. Rabada has been bowling really well this season but not to forget the ample support he is getting from the other Delhi bowlers.
Axar Patel has been very economical too and his innings against Chennai was a short but crucial one. Tushar Deshpande has been playing well too and everything has been working as planned by Shreyas Iyer and Co. Kolkata haven’t shown any improvements since changing their skipper but their position in the table proves that they still have a lot to fight for.
The last time the sides faced each other, it didn’t end well for the Knight Riders. However, they did manage to touch the 200 mark but regular dismissals didn’t really allow them to keep flowing. Will Delhi maintain their dominance on the league summit or will Kolkata destroy the hopes of the bottom half teams?
Match Toss Time: 13:30 Local (15:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 14:00 Local (15:30 IST)
Match Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
The sky will be clear and there are no chances of rain. The temperature will be around the 30-degree mark and it will be pleasant out there for a game of cricket. Humidity is expected to be on the lower side and in terms of numbers, it may be around 45%. Due is expected to affect the game too.
The pitch of Abu Dhabi is known for its bounce. It helps the bowlers sometimes while the batsman who loves to hit it long enjoy playing here too. A score around 170 seems enough but teams chasing find it easy to keep the scoreboard ticking too. In the end, a good bowler will know how to extract bounce from the pitch by bowling in the right areas, while a smart batsman will be ready for any kind of challenge.
As far as the team is concerned, Kolkata look really good on paper. However, the reality is completely off the expectations and Kolkata really need to bring their A-game in order to make their way into the playoffs.
Lockie Ferguson has been a massive introduction and Kolkata only have themselves to blame for keeping the in-form bowler out for such a long time. Delhi are expected to keep the same lineup as the game against Punjab wasn’t their best. Dhawan’s ton was a huge boost but it is not an individual tournament and relying only on Dhawan is something Delhi should not let happen if they want to get their hands on the title. Both the teams may make a change or two at max but the more the tournament progresses, the more a team should be reluctant to disrupt the balance in their squad.
Probable Playing XI:
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Tom Banton, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Eoin Morgan (C), Pat Cummins, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Shivam Mavi/Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy.
Delhi Capitals (DC): Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (C), Rishabh Pant (WK), Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Anrich Nortje/ Daniel Sams, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Tushar Deshpande.
KKR VS DC Fantasy Team
Rishabh Pant (WK), Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Eoin Morgan, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Kagiso Rabada, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Pat Cummins.
Captain Picks: Shikhar Dhawan (DC), Shreyas Iyer (DC)
Vice-Captain: Lockie Ferguson (KKR), Kagiso Rabada (DC)
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