Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Rugged DC set to present a stiffer challenge for KKR. The last time these two sides met, DC smashed KKR by seven wickets after chasing down 154 inside 17 overs.
The last time these two sides met, DC smashed KKR by seven wickets after chasing down 154 inside 17 overs.
With two thumping wins over Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians, Kolkata Knight Riders have ensured they've picked up momentum at the right time. The loss against Chennai Super Kings, KKR will hope, was a minor blip as they aim to push on for a position in the playoffs. Delhi Capitals, however, present a very different challenge from the last three games. Anrich Nortje in particular has been hurting oppositions with his pace. KKR's openers gave the side good start against RCB and MI but couldn't quite get going against CSK. If they are able to present a challenge to DC, the openers will not only have to neutralise the Nortje threat but also put the pacer under pressure.
DC, with eight wins from 10 matches, will hope to sustain the momentum and are aiming for a top-two finish. Ricky Ponting has stressed the side needs to peak at the right time and a win against KKR will help them pull away quite significantly from third-placed RCB (12 points). KKR, with four matches to go, can't afford any more slip-ups with Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians also in contention for the fourth spot.
When:KKR vs DC, September 28, 2021, 15:30 IST, 14:00 local time
Where:Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
What to expect:The two matches in Sharjah have been low-scoring on the slowish surfaces on offer. James Hopes felt the outright pace of his bowlers could go against them and hinted that we can expect more variations. Teams will want to bat first with a hot afternoon set to greet the sides.
Head To Head: KKR 14 – 12 DC. The last time these two sides met, DC smashed KKR by seven wickets after chasing down 154 inside 17 overs.
Injured/Unavailable: Andre Russell heard “something pop” in his hamstring and hobbled off the field against CSK. He is likely to be unavailable for this clash.
Tactics & Matchups: Prithvi Shaw is the second-highest run-getter for DC this season behind Shikhar Dhawan and he loves playing against KKR. In the last five innings he's played against KKR, he's scored four half-centuries with his lowest strike rate being 140.91 in 2018. To get ahead, KKR will have to break the opening stand. The Shaw-Dhawan combo, however, has struggled in the UAE with the highest partnership being 25 in the last ten innings. Shaw especially struggles in UAE with his average just 16.60 in 16 innings. One of the match-ups that will be key is Sunil Narine bowling to Dhawan. The spinner has dismissed Dhawan twice in 64 balls and has given away just 69 runs.
Probable XI:Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shakib al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakaravarthy, Prasidh Krishna
Injured/Unavailable:Hopes confirmed that the pacers were rested and didn't train after their afternoon match against Rajasthan Royals. He also clarified the side is not looking to rest any players at this point. Marcus Stoinis, however, is likely to miss this clash as he recovers from the leg injury he picked against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Shaw too picked an injury in the last game and didn't take the field during the chase. If he's unavailable, DC have the option of going with either Steve Smith or Sam Billings.
Tactics & Matchups:DC are likely to breathe a touch easy with Russell's unavailability. The all-rounder has a strike rate of 13.4 with the ball in hand and 190.21 in eight innings he's batted. The onus will be on Rabada to put the middle-order under pressure but he's also struggled against Eoin Morgan. The KKR captain has a strike rate of 254 against the pacer in the 24 balls he's played and is yet to be dismissed. Nitish Rana and Narine, meanwhile, thrive against R Ashwin, who will again be key on the slowish surface.
Probable XI:Prithvi Shaw/Steve Smith/Sam Billings, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan
Did you know?
– DC have won five of their last six matches against KKR.
– In the three innings in UAE, Shubman Gill has not only bettered his average from India but has also lifted his boundary percentage from 17 to 22.9 per cent.
What they said:
“Ashwin bowled beautifully against Rajasthan and he got a lot of energy on the ball. I expect him to play a big part going forward. He's a world-class bowler and we are fortunate to have two world-class spinners in our team. I expect Ashwin to have a big impact” – James Hopes.
“He said he felt something pop in his leg, in his hamstring. So we got the best medical staff in the business, they'll tend to him. Hopefully, it is nothing too serious because he's a key part of our team” – David Hussey on Russell's injury.