30 Mar 2019

DC Vs KKR: Delhi Capitals aim to find a way past Russell

By cricinsane

This is a match between a side that is looking to establish roles for its players – and thus achieve success and establish itself in a city that has been cold to the home team for 11 years – and a team that doesn’t want established roles. Kolkata Knight Riders come to Delhi with the most fluid and flexible batting line-up among IPL sides, and an unbeaten record this year. The hosts, Delhi Capitals, soared magnificently in the first match against Mumbai Indians, but were laid low partly by their own home conditions and partly by their failure to adjust to the dry pitch that offered natural variations to bowlers. Knight Riders will provide Delhi as big a challenge as Chennai Super Kings did. They have three spinners of varying quality and mode of operation, and they are not short of quicks who can hit the deck. As Ricky Ponting said after the defeat to Super Kings, Delhi will have to find way to bat smarter than they did against the CSK. Morris is back for Delhi, and will give them a hit-the-deck bowler and a big-hitting allrounder possibly at the expense of Keemo Paul. Morris pointed out that the square doesn’t look like it did last year where they averaged around 190 batting first. In fact they scored 219 when they last faced Knight Riders at home. Morris brings Andre Russell-like qualities to DC’s lower middle-order, even if he himself believes there’s no point to draw comparisons between himself and the ‘unbelievably good’ West Indian. Even if Morris isn’t as devastating with the bat as Russell, DC will hope he could be the first bowler of IPL 2019 to curb the big-hitter from taking the game away in a flash at the death.
If they continue with their strategy of batting first – there hasn’t been much dew to speak of – they might set their sights on around 170 and then try to get to Andre Russell early and then past him. For KKR, this game marks the start of a journey away from Kolkata for as many as four away games. The table-toppers who have started like they are here to mean business, can steal an early march in the race to the playoffs if they can grab two victories out of four before returning to the Eden.The two-time champions have made a dream start as far as their batting is concerned, the top-order setting it up nicely for Russell to power away in the both the matches so far. They’ve both led to wins but without the bowling unit really impressing yet. Against a top-heavy DC on a reasonably small ground, there comes an opportunity to tick that aspect off with ample challenges. Nitish Rana having had a breezy run thus far will look to dominate proceedings at his home ground and if that happens, KKR will have their work cut out. On a hot day in Delhi, expect fireworks from the best hitters in the business. Delhi Capitals start favourites to close this tie but a Russell storm can change that with ease and brute.

Predicted 11’s

Delhi Capitals Seeing Russell’s vulnerability against the leg spin, Delhi Capitals might think to start this game with two of them so Lamichhane should get a look in for his first game this season.

Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer , Colin Ingram, Rishabh Pant , Chris Morris, Axar Patel/Sandeep Lamichhane, Rahul Tewatia, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma

Kolkata Knight Riders “If it is not broken, why fix it?” and an unchanged 11 is highly likely for that reason.

Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna