Kolkata Knight Riders take on Delhi Capitals in match 16 of IPL 2020 in Sharjah on Saturday, October 3. It will be the first game for both the ground in at this venue, which is the smallest among the three in the UAE. KKR are coming into this game on the back of two back to back wins. Delhi on the other hand, lost their first game of the season against SRH. This is also the first time that both these teams are facing each other in this year’s IPL. More about the Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Capitals match Preview below.
Kolkata have bounced back well after their first loss against MI. They have been clinical with their gameplan against SRH and then Rajasthan Royals. Their bowling especially has clicked in the last game very efficiently. They took the least wickets among all the teams in the 2019 IPL and then to turnaround with a performance like this is commendable. The six-bowlers tactics is paying rich dividence for the Men in purple. Against DC too, there should be no change in their bowling attack.
Sixes Expected in Sharjah in KKR vs DC Contest
Their batting despite Shubman Gill firing, keeps them thinking. The ploy to open with Sunil Narine at the top has not paid off so far. Narine has been hot and cold for KKR in the previous two seasons and started 2020 on the same note as well. Dinesh Karthik too has failed to fire in the first three games as KKR’s middle-order conundrum keeps coming back to haunt them. Eoin Morgan has been consistent with his run-scoring in the middle-order. While Karthik was out for a duck, Andre Russell scored 14 off 24 and looked good till he was there at the wicket. With the match being played in Sharjah where the boundaries are considerably small than the other two venues, it will not be a bad idea to send Russell in early at number three or four at max. Karthik who has found it tough going so far can slip in at number six if the situation demands.
Also, this playing combination has given Kolkata enough options with the ball as well. Varun Chakravarty has been a revelation so far for KKR. He has been a perfect foil for Kuldeep Yadav, who hasn’t been at his best so far in the tournament.
Delhi Capitals, on the other hand, despite losing their previous match is always a dangerous side to play against. They have the capability to bounce back when considered down and out. Against Kolkata Knight Riders they have had as fierce rivalry in the past and it has intensified since Kagiso Rabada’s famous Suoer Over against Andre Russell last year.
They have a good core of Indian batsmen with Marcus Stoinis as their designated all-rounder. Amit Mishra and Axar Patel have done a good job with R Ashwin on the way to recovery from his shoulder injury. With Prithvi Shaw firing hot and cold in the tournament so far, the team management would like to look at Ajinkya Rahane, who they traded from the Royals ahead of the IPL 2020 auction. Rahane, being one of the finest batsmen to have played the IPL is yet to get a game this season.
Ishant Sharma played his first game of the season against SRH. He bowled a spell of 33 for 26. With Ishant, Ashwin and Mishra in the line-up, Delhi has many options to choose from.
Head to Head: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Capitals
In the 25 games played between both teams, KKR are just ahead in the head to head count with 13-11. However, in the last five games played between both teams, Delhi has won three games, while KKR two.
Weather & Pitch Conditions
As said earlier, Sharjah is the smallest of the three venues in the UAE. Therefore explenty of big hits with quality batsmen featuring in both teams. As per latest reports, a fresh pitch will be laid out for the KKR vs DC contest. However, that does not take out the possibility of a high-scoring encounter. Spinners will have a far important role to play than the pacers from both sides.
Doubts still remain over R Ashwin’s participation in this game. He was seen practicing and might just partner Mishra from the other end. It will be interesting to see if the DC management gives Rahane a chance instead of Prithvi Shaw. Also, Alex Carey is waiting in the wings for his opportunity and can be a like for like replacement for Hetmyer if the management wants to use him.
For Kolkata, the debate will be if they will keep opening with Sunil Narine with an exciting talent in Tom Banton waiting in the KKR dug-out for his much-deserved opportunity.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Dinesh Karthik (C/WK), Andre Russell, Harry Gurney, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Sunil Narine, Chris Green, Eoin Morgan, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik, Praveen Tambe, Pat Cummins, Rahul Tripathi, Tom Banton, Varun Chakravarthy.
Shreyas Iyer (C), Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Keemo Paul, Prithvi Shaw, Ravichandran Ashwin, Rishabh Pant, Sandeep Lamichhane, Shikhar Dhawan, Alex Carey, Lalit Yadav, Marcus Stoinis, Mohit Sharma, Shimron Hetmyer, Tushar Deshpande