KKR vs DC, Preview: Upbeat Knights take on Delhi Capitals for a place in finale
After a comprehensive four-win against the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the eliminator, the Knight Riders will lock horns against the Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 2 on Wednesday, 13th October, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The Knight Riders will head into this game marginally ahead in the Head to Head comparison by winning 15 games out of the 27 matches played thus far.
The boys in Purple and Gold have been in scintillating form in the second leg of the tournament and won six of their eight matches, including a resounding win in the eliminator courtesy of an all-around performance by Sunil Narine. One of the significant reasons for a dominating performance of the Knights in the UAE leg is the spin unit of the side. With the likes of Narine, Varun Chakaravarthy and Shakib Al Hasan, the bowling unit has picked up crucial wickets in the middle overs and restricted the flow of runs. On a sluggish wicket on offer, they will be critical to the fortunes of the side in this high-voltage clash.
The batting unit looks settled, with Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill forging a solid opening partnership. The duo have played a fearless brand of cricket and given the team a flying start in the first six overs. The batting unit looks formidable with the destructive middle-order comprising of Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan. In the eight matches at UAE, the team has scored 510 runs at an average of 31.88 in the middle overs, which is the best by any team this season. With years of experience at the international level, the team will be heavily reliant on skipper Morgan and Karthik to guide the young batting unit in this crunch encounter.
On the other hand, the Delhi Capitals have been one of the most consistent teams in the edition of the league and will aim to bounce back in Qualifier 2. The young side led by Rishabh Pant has one of the most lethal pace bowling units with the likes of Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan and Kagiso Rabada. With 23 wickets in 15 innings, Khan is second on the list of most wickets in the season behind Harshal Patel.
The inclusion of Shreyas Iyer in the second leg of the tournament has strengthened the batting unit of the Capitals. With Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan forging a formidable opening combination, the top order looks settled. The onus of giving the team quick runs in the middle overs and in the back end of the innings will rely on Pant and Shimron Hetmyer. The duo have been in sublime form and will look to give the team much-needed impetus in the final overs.
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KKR squad list:
Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan (c), Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Pawan Negi, Tim Seifert, Shakib al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Karun Nair, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer.
DC Squad list:
Rishabh Pant (C and WK), Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Avesh Khan, Axar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Prithvi Shaw, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Lalit Yadav, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Ben Dwarshuis, Anrich Nortje, Steve Smith, Umesh Yadav, Ripal Patel, Lukman Hussain Meriwala, M Siddharth, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Pravin Dubey, Vishnu Vinod