In the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Kolkata Knight Riders (KK) and Delhi Capitals tonight at 7:30pm on the relatively small ground in Sharjah, explosive batsman Andre Russell and Rishabh Pant will be in the sights. Russell had shown a glimpse of his aggressive batting by scoring three sixes in Dubai in the last match against Rajasthan Royals, but Pant has so far failed to show his natural game and has been more cautious. Pant will also be under pressure as his competitors like KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson are performing well.
This will be the first time two matches will be played in a day in the current season, but the match in Sharjah is likely be more entertaining because the boundary is small. KKR has batsmen like Shubman Gill, Andre Russell and Eoin Morgan. On the other hand DC has Rishabh Pant, Marcus Stonis and Shreyas Iyer in the team. They all are known for playing big shots and will be ready to add to the 62 sixes of the two matches played on this field so far.
KKR is slowly looking to return to rhythm, while Delhi suffered a defeat in the last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad after two victories. In the last match, KKR’s young fast bowlers Kamlesh Nagkoti and Shivam Mavi performed well, Sunil Narine could not work as a batsman in the first three games and scored only 24, but Kolkata Knight Riders probably won’t make any changes in their winning combination. Narine, however, has left his mark in bowling as usual.
The team has a reserve opener in the form of Tom Banton, but in view of the Sharjah ground, KKR’s Narine would like to be in the top order which could dominate Indian bowlers like Mohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma or Awesh Khan. The responsibility of bowling coach Rayon Harris has also increased. Harris feels his team did not give his best in the last match and there is no need to be upset right now.
In Delhi’s batting department, Shimron Hetmyer has not yet been able to show his speciality, but the formula that applies to Narine in KKR team also applies to the captain of the West Indies under-19 World Cup winning team. He will however have to face spin bowlers like Kuldeep Yadav and Varun Chakraborty. Hetmyer had some success in front of Kuldeep at the international level and the two are likely to have an interesting competition with the pitch being considered a paradise for the batsmen.
DC vs KKR Probable Playing XIs
Rishabh Pant (WK), Alex Carey, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Keemo Paul, Kagiso Rabada.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (C & WK), Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti.
Delhi Capitals (DC):
Rishabh Pant, Alex Carey, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Keemo Paul, Daniel Sams, Lalit Yadav, Kagiso Rabada, Ravichandran Ashwin, Anrich Nortje, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Harshal Patel, Sandeep Lamichhane, Avesh Khan, Tushar Deshpande.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR):
Dinesh Karthik, Nikhil Naik, Eoin Morgan, Siddhesh Lad, Rahul Tripathi, Rinku Singh, Shubman Gill, Tom Banton, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Nitish Rana, Pat Cummins, Sandeep Warrier, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Green, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Manimaran Siddharth, Varun Chakravarthy, Ali Khan.