Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) must be thinking about their close last ball loss against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in match 38 of Indian Premier League (IPL). A win would have placed them third on the points table. Nonetheless, they have to be satisfied with the fourth position for the moment. But with just four matches to go, KKR can’t afford any more slips ups.
The news from their camp is that all-rounder Andre Russell is a doubtful starter for the game against Delhi Capitals (DC). If he is not fit, then it would spell a disaster for the team. With the business end of the IPL nearing, KKR would want their main player available.
Meanwhile, DC are brimming with confidence and are placed second on the points table with 16 points. They have hardly put a foot wrong and have secured yet another playoffs berth. With Anrich Nortje and Shreyas Iyer back, the team look even more threatening.
The match is going to be played at Sharjah, where chasing has been preferred by the teams. Also, the pitch has offered a bit of help for the spinners and so the likes of Varun Chakravarthy and Ravi Ashwin can thrive on it.
Predicted Playing XIs:
Kolkata Knight Riders
Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan(c), Dinesh Karthik(w), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna
Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Shimron Hetmyer, Rishabh Pant (C and WK), Lalit Yadav Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan
With doubts cast over Andre Russell playing or not against DC, KKR wicketkeeper-batter Dinesh Karthik’s role becomes even more crucial. Against CSK, he played a beautiful little cameo of 26 runs off just 11 balls.
Although Anrich Nortje has hogged the limelight due to his lightning pace, his South African bowling partner Kagiso Rabada too is not far behind. He has often provided skipper Rishabh Pant with vital breakthroughs and has allowed Nortje to run hard.