The Wankhede Stadium, on Thursday, is going to witness a high-voltage game between Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders. In their halfway journeys, both the teams saw mixed results and are working out hard to play with the perfect combination of players who can do wonders for them.
As KKR and DC are gearing up for the 41st match, the new balanced combinations that can be worked out can be a new point of discussion.
To begin with Capitals, it has only managed to win three matches in the seven games they played in the ongoing IPL season. The Capitals are currently facing a middle-order crux and that’s the reason they had lost multiple matches despite a strong opening partnership.
The Rishabh Pant-led team has a very good opening combination that every team desire to have, as Prithivi Shaw and David Warner are both consistent and hold the ability to trash the opponent with their destructive batting.
The concern for the Capitals starts when the first wicket fell, they tried many combinations but didn’t see any good results.
In the beginning, they tried with Mandeep Singh, who only managed to score just eighteen runs in two games at a strike rate of 100. Then the young and experienced side go with big hitter Rovman Powell that too didn’t work out for them. Sarfaraz Khan and Mitchell Marsh also failed.
Then the captain promoted himself to no.3 and played sensible innings of 44 in just 24 balls which gave Capitals some relief.
Delhi has Prithivi Shaw and David Warner as their opener and Rishabh Pant will come at one down that solves half of their problems.
For the middle order, they can try with, Lalit Yadav, who scored 112 runs in five matches at a strike rate of 121 followed by Sarfaraz Khan at no.5, and the big hitter Rovman Powell, who almost snatched the victory from Royals plate in the last game at sixth.
After Powell, they also have Shardul Thakur and Axar Patel, who both carry a reputation of good batters down the order.
There’s no need to change the bowling line-up as everyone like Khaleel Ahmed, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel, and Kuldeep Yadav, are all doing a good job.
Kolkata Knight Riders:
KKR on the other hand, came on the field today after facing four consecutive defeats. The young Iyer-led side, who started their 2022 IPL campaign on a solid note with three wins in four matches, struggled in the last four outings and currently standing at the eighth spot in the points table.
After trying with the old rice Ajinkya Rahane in the first five matches, Kolkata asked Finch, who joined late due to international commitments, to open the inning with Venkatesh Iyer.
Later they changed the plan and tried Sunil Narine at the top that move hasn’t paid off too. In the last game, KKR again changed their opening pair and pushed Sam Billings to open the innings that again didn’t go in KKR’s favor.
So, their major concern is their opening combination, for which they can try Aaron Finch along with Sunil Narine, because of fewer options.
The captain Shreyas Iyer is KKR’s strength, he is the leading run-scorer (280 runs in eight innings) in the team and delivered almost every time in the last eight outings, though he didn’t get much support from the other side, a reason behind their defeats.
Another star Nitish Rana, whom the KKR management trusted more, was also seen impact less and only scored 138 in eight innings, KKR still believes he is a big match player and can do wonders for them.
KKR don’t have many options to choose from, so they can go with their tried combination with some adjustments in the batting order.
They can bring back Pat Cummins in the side. While Southee did superbly in the last game, Cummins can bat, and that gives him an edge over the veteran Southee. Umesh along with Mavi and Cummins is a decent combination of pace batteries at the Wankhede, while Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy will handle their spin department.