When the going gets tough, the tough gets going – this is precisely what Kolkata Knight Riders will have to prove on Saturday when they take on table-toppers Delhi Capitals in Match 42 of Dream XI IPL 2020 in Abu Dhabi.
KKR are still in the Top 4 and they, at any cost, would want to end up on the winning side to ensure they stay in the race of play-offs. No.5 in the points table are Sunrisers Hyderabad, who have been breathing down KKR’s neck, and have a far better net run rate (+0.092) than us. Eoin Morgan’s men suffered a big jolt after the massive loss against Royal Challengers Bangalore and they know it’s high time to get their acts together to improve on the points tally and boost the net run rate, which currently stands at -0.828.
The good news is Kolkata have won both their day matches in Abu Dhabi, while Delhi have failed to seize even one in the Sheikh Zayed Stadium so far. The Kolkata bowlers have found comfort in Abu Dhabi’s conditions and often have come up with strong performances. Lockie Ferguson has been in a scintillating form and his last two outings in Abu Dhabi have been extremely impressive. Now, it’s time for the batsmen to have a serious introspection and make a strong statement. Head Coach Brendon McCullum will need to do some brainstorming to figure out what’s plaguing the KKR batting line up and fix it before things go out of our grip.
Delhi will come into today’s match after a loss against Kings XI Punjab. However, even in the loss, they have sent out strong warning signs to KKR. Shikhar Dhawan went on to score his IPL best of 106* in that match, which came on the back of another unbeaten century (101*) against Chennai Super Kings.
In the last meeting against KKR, almost the entire top and middle order of Delhi clicked. Starting from Prithvi Shaw to Shreyas Iyer to Rishabh Pant, everyone accounted for the KKR bowlers and went on to post 228. Even though KKR lost the match, things got eerily close, thanks to some explosive batting from Morgan and Rahul Tripathi. Today, however, KKR’s batting will need to have a collective success to fill in the gaps and win the battle against the in-form DC.
The head-to-head between the two teams still tilts in KKR’s favour, having won 13 out of 24 matches. Kolkata have gone on to win four out of five matches batting first this season. However, with the conditions changing, we have seen sides batting second winning most of the last few matches in Abu Dhabi. So, the toss may play a crucial role in determining the outcome of the match. Having said that, there is no denial that negotiating with the conditions and still emerging as winners is what outlines the champion mindset, and KKR will leave no stones unturned to bounce back from the previous set back and send out joyous waves among the KKR fans this Durga Puja.
Kolkata Knight Riders take on Delhi Capitals at 3.30PM IST in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. Stay tuned on our social pages for the latest updates. Korbo, lorbo, jeetbo!