DC vs KKR Qualifier 2 IPL 2021 Preview: 13th Oct - KKR spinners present uphill task for off-colour Delhi
Delhi are missing the injured Marcus Stoinis dearly.
League stage points stand for nothing
Cricket is a great leveller, and so is the IPL. Delhi Capitals finished the league stage atop the points table with 20 points, while Kolkata Knight Riders just slipped in at the fourth spot with 7 victories, slightly ahead of Mumbai Indians on net run rate.
As the two teams meet in Qualifier 2 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Wednesday, they will be on completely equal footing. In fact, despite ending three spots below KKR in the group stage, it is Kolkata who have the advantage after winning their Eliminator against Royal Challengers Bangalore by 4 wickets. On the other hand, Delhi Capitals are coming off a 4-wicket loss against Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1.
With Narine back in top form, it's advantage KKR
It has been quite an even contest between the two teams with KKR winning one and Delhi winning one of the two matches that they have played against each other in IPL 2021. Going by the most recent fixture, and that too in the UAE, KKR beat Delhi by 3 wickets in the group stage with Sunil Narine finishing as the Player of the Match
Narine will again be a thorn in the DC flesh, coming hot on the heels of another Player of the Match winning performance against Bangalore as he picked up 4 wickets while conceding just 21 runs from his four overs and then executed three clean strikes over the ropes to kill the chase.
KKR have all bases covered
Narine, along with Varun Chakravarthy and Shakib Al Hasan, will once again try to place a stranglehold on the opposition batters, particularly in the middle overs.
KKR have Lockie Ferguson and Shivam Mavi as their pace bowling options. The form of Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi is also a good sign for the team.
Delhi are missing the injured Marcus Stoinis dearly. It is unfortunate that Chris Woakes who was picked as his back-up also pulled out and DC are now struggling for balance.
If Stoinis has not fully recovered and the team cannot find a domestic all-rounder to fit his spot, Tom Curran might get another game. One change that Delhi should make, and in all probability they would, is to bring in leg spinner Amit Mishra in place of Ravichandran Ashwin.
Mishra, who is the second-highest wicket taker in the history of the IPL, is a wicket-taking option. With Ashwin not being able to complete his quota in the last couple of matches, Mishra should get a chance to make a difference.
Can Smith sneak in?
Delhi were a batter short in the last match and the onus will be on Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer once again. The experience of Steve Smith can come in handy for DC in the pressure match.
Delhi have played some excellent cricket this season but KKR appear to hold the edge. Can the Protea pair of Anrich Nortje and Kagiso Rabada pull off something special?
Predicted playing XIs
Delhi Capitals - Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Steve Smith, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan
Kolkata Knight Riders - Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi
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