Match Preview – Capitals vs KKR, IPL 2021, Qualifier 2


Capitals wait on Stoinis availability; Knight Riders might favor Shakib over Russell once more in knockout

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Kolkata Knight Riders have been on a fairytale trip because the UAE leg of the event started. Their prime-order batters have scored persistently at a brisk tempo and their spinners have stifled oppositions on sluggish tracks. Even although Eoin Morgan hasn’t struck kind with the bat, he has led Knight Riders to 6 wins within the final eight matches. Now they’re in Qualifier 2, one step away from the ultimate.

Meanwhile, Delhi Capitals have been probably the most constant IPL facet lately – they’re the one ones to qualify for the playoffs in every of the final three seasons. The key to their success has been figuring out their greatest XI early and altering it solely when compelled to take action.

This season, Capitals topped the league stage regardless of lacking Marcus Stoinis for 5 video games. But after their defeat to Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1, cracks appear to have emerged of their line-up. Suddenly, within the absence of Stoinis, their stability seems comprised, whereas R Ashwin’s bowling kind is giving them complications. Can they regroup shortly and make it to their second successive remaining?

The chasing groups have received 5 out of seven video games in Sharjah up to now this season. Moreover, 4 of Capitals’ 5 losses this season have come when batting first, whereas Knight Riders have received on all 5 events they’ve chased in the course of the UAE leg of the event. So it is not going to be a shock if each groups are eager to bowl first.

In the information

Andre Russell continues to be recovering from his hamstring harm. According to West Indies coach Phil Simmons, Russell has been batting within the Knight Riders nets and is “running at a certain level”. But given the sluggish nature of the Sharjah floor, Knight Riders may proceed with Shakib Al Hasan even when Russell regains full health within the subsequent 24 hours.

Rishabh Pant had hoped for Stoinis to be match for Qualifier 1. That did not occur however Capitals will likely be holding a detailed eye on him. If out there, Stoinis will exchange Tom Curran within the facet.

Likely XIs

Delhi Capitals: 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Shreyas Iyer, 4 Rishabh Pant (capt & wk), 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Marcus Stoinis/Tom Curran, 7 Axar Patel, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Avesh Khan

Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Venkatesh Iyer, 3 Rahul Tripathi, 4 Nitish Rana, 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 Eoin Morgan (capt), 7 Shakib Al Hasan, 8 Sunil Narine, 9 Lockie Ferguson, 10 Varun Chakravarthy, 11 Shivam Mavi

Strategy punt

  • Capitals have tried Lalit Yadav, Steven Smith, Ripal Patel and Curran to fill the Hulk-sized gap Stoinis has left behind. But none of them provides the stability Stoinis supplies, by being a finisher who can bowl seam-up. A left-subject possibility could possibly be going again to Smith because the Sharjah pitch is prone to go well with his model of batting. But given Ashwin’s kind, Capitals may proceed with Curran.
  • If Knight Riders go unchanged, they may have 5 left-hand batters within the prime eight. On the face of it, that ought to work in Ashwin’s favour, however a more in-depth look tells he would not have significantly spectacular numbers towards them in T20 cricket: 74 runs off 35 balls (no dismissal) towards Nitish Rana, 60 runs in 21 balls (no dismissal) towards Sunil Narine, 32 runs off 23 balls (two dismissals) towards Eoin Morgan. He has hardly bowled towards Venkatesh Iyer and has a beneficial match-up solely towards Shakib: 30 runs in 31 balls and two dismissals. Generally, Ashwin is a cheap bowler within the powerplay however Shubman Gill has taken him for 38 runs in 25 balls with out getting out.

    Rana, although, has struggled towards Axar Patel. The left-arm spinner has dismissed him twice in 22 balls whereas conceding solely 23 runs. So it is going to be attention-grabbing to see how Capitals use their spinners.

  • Knight Riders can as soon as once more promote Narine up the batting order, particularly when the spinners are working. In T20 cricket, Narine has a strike charge of 287.5 towards Ashwin and 187.5 towards Axar. Neither bowler has been in a position to dismiss him in a mixed 29 balls.
  • Instead of Kagiso Rabada, Capitals may use Anrich Nortje on the demise. Rabada has a demise-overs financial system of 10.84 on this season, whereas Nortje has gone for less than 6.81 per over. Rabada could possibly be used within the powerplay and center overs the place has conceded 6.93 and seven.86 per over respectively.

Stats that matter

  • This season Ashwin has picked up solely 5 wickets in 12 video games at a mean of 60.80 and a strike charge of 49.0. Of the 22 bowlers who’ve bowled at the very least 40 overs within the event, Ashwin’s common and strike charge are the poorest.
  • Knight Riders have performed three video games in Sharjah this season. In two of them, towards Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore, they did not concede even one six.
  • In the IPL playoffs, together with finals, Pant has scored 199 runs in six innings, at a mean of 49.75 and a strike charge of 151.91.
  • The groups which have scored extra runs within the powerplay have received eight out of 9 video games in Sharjah this season.
  • Capitals have hit probably the most variety of fours (227) and the least variety of sixes (60) for any crew in IPL 2021.

Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo