Delhi Capitals, led by Shreyas Iyer, will take on two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders in the second of the two double headers on Saturday. The match will be played at DC’s home ground Feroz Shah Kotla stadium located in New Delhi. Both the teams have played two games each and Dinesh Karthik led KKR are yet to be defeated this season while DC have won just one match out of their two.
Delhi Capitals started their IPL 2019 campaign with a comfortable win against the mighty Mumbai Indian at Mumbai’s own den courtesy of Rishabh Pant’s heroics, however, they lost their second game at home against the defending champions Chennai Super Kings. Like in their first match, Delhi were well placed to post a mighty total with Pant & Dhawan at the crease, but Bravo’s three-wicket haul swung the match in Chennai’s way as DC in the end managed to post a below-par total of 147.
Delhi will look to get back to the winning ways against the Knight Riders. In their last game, DC included only three overseas players in the playing XI and we can expect some changes to their side. Chris Morris might come into the side along with fellow South Africans Colin Ingram & Kagiso Rabada. Based on the pitch conditions, either of Trent Bout or Sandeep Lamichanne will replace Keemo Paul who has looked unimpressive in the previous matches. The Indian contingent is expected to remain the same with Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer & Rishabh Pant occupying the batting slots while Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma & Amit Mishra are expected to be the bowlers.
On the other hand, Kolkata Knight Riders have had a perfect start in the tournament with two back to back wins against SRH & KXIP. The Knight Riders have won these two games in different scenarios, one while chasing and the other one while defending. Even though it will be their first away game of the season, yet we might not see any changes to their playing XI. Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Andre Russel & Lockie Ferguson will seal the four overseas positions for KKR, while Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik & Shubman Gill will occupy the middle-order slots. Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla & Prasidh Krishna are expected to be the Indian bowlers for the Kolkata based team.
Rishabh Pant v Kuldeep Yadav
Rishabh Pant has already set IPL 2019 on fire with an awestrucking innings against the Mumbai Indians in DC’s opening match with a 27 ball 78* and followed it up with a brisk 13 ball 25. In 40 IPL career matches, Pant has scored 1351 runs at an average of 37.52 and scores at a strike-rate of 167.41 with 1 hundred and 9 fifties to his name.
Kuldeep Yadav hasn’t have had a great start to the IPL as he has gone wicketless in both the matches. In the first game against SRH, he bowled only two overs and conceded 20 runs while against KXIP, he conceded 32 runs of his quota of four overs. But knowing Kuldeep’s wicket-taking abilities in the middle overs, he will surely make a comeback and haunt opposition batsmen. In the 33 IPL matches that he has played in, he has taken 35 wickets at an average of 25.34 with an economy rate of 8.22 with 4/20 being his best.
Kagiso Rabada v Andre Russel
Although Kagiso Rabada missed last year’s IPL with an injury, he started this season on a great note for the Delhi based franchise. In the first game against Mumbai Indians, he took two wickets and conceded just 23 runs in his four overs, and in the match against CSK, he conceded 26 runs and took one wicket in 3.4 overs. Overall, in eight IPL matches, Rabada has taken 9 wickets at an average of 23.33 with an economy rate of 8.17 with 2/20 being his best.
Andre Russel set the stage on fire with two match-winning inning performances against SRH & KXIP. In KKR’s first game, he guided his side past the victory line with a splendid 19 ball 49*, and in the second game through a carnage 17 ball 45, he single-handedly batted KXIP out of the match. For his magnificent all-round display, he deservedly won the Man of the Match award in both the games and once again will be key for KKR’s success in this match. The Jamaican born cricketer has scored 987 runs in the IPL at an unbelievable strike-rate of 183.45 and has smashed a staggering 77 sixes in the tournament history. He has also taken 48 wickets with the ball and thus will be one of the key players to look out for in the match.
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Both the teams possess a quality bowling line-up and if the pitch supports batsmen, it will be a run feast for the fans. Delhi’s bowling is a bit better than the Knight Riders since Delhi have quality experienced International bowlers that the KKR team lacks and playing at home will also be an added advantage for the Delhi team.
Thus, after considering everything, Cricwizz believes that although it will be a close encounter between the two sides but seeing Delhi as a more balanced site, we expect them to easily win the match. However, one should not underestimate the Knight Riders who have many match winners who can single-handedly turn the match in KKR’s favor.
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