In the second IPL game tonight, David Warner’s Delhi Capitals (DC) will be up against Nitish Rana’s Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi.
DC, with five back-to-back losses, are at bottom of the points table. KKR, on the other hand, have lost 3 out of 5 matches and are currently at the seventh position. KKR's last game against Mumbai Indians ended up as a one-sided affair as the MI batters comfortably chased down the 185-run target with 5 wickets in hand and 14 balls to spare.
Both the teams would look for a win in this match, before things go completely out of hand for them.
The two sides have played 10 games against each other, with KKR coming out victorious on 5 occasions and Delhi winning 4 games. One match ended without result as it was abandoned.
KKR’s opening pair has become a big concern for the team after five matches. The openers have not been able to contribute effectively and the team has thus failed to capitalise in the powerplay overs.
KKR tried Narayan Jagadeesan and Rahmanullah Gurbaz in the last 3 games, but the two couldn't put up a good partnership in any match. The team also tried the combination of Mandeep Singh and Gurbaz in the opening match, but as the duo didn’t perform, the combination was changed.
Gurbaz has performed only in a game against RCB where he made 57 off 41 balls. Though the Afghanistan batter can hit the ball, in five games so far he has scored just 102 runs at a strike-rate of 117.24 and average of 20.40.
So, in today’s match, we might see Gurbaz being replaced by either Jason Roy or Bangladesh’s Litton Das.
Secondly, Andre Russell poor shows has become a worry for KKR. Russell’s form this year has been quite average. KKR’s biggest buy at Rs 16 crore, he has only made 60 runs in 5 matches at a strike-rate of 153.85. His only good knock came against Punjab in the first match where he made 35 off 19 balls with 2 sixes and 3 fours.
Overall, KKR’s innings in today’s match will be centered around Nitish Rana, Venkatesh Iyer, Shardul Thakur and Rinku Singh. It will be interesting to see at which number Russell comes in to bat.
David Warner’s approach to the game, as a leader, has been a big worry for Delhi Capitals.
Though Warner has made 228 runs in five matches, with three half-centuries to his name, the runs have come at a dismal strike-rate of 116.92. Even during big chases, Warner has failed to lead from the front and most shockingly, the Australian batter has not hit even one six in the five matches so far.
Several cricket experts like Virender Sehwag, Robin Uthappa have come down heavily on Warner for playing this run-a-ball game in a T20s which requires aggressive batting.
The second concern for DC is the failure of all the other batters, putting all the burden on Warner. Prtihvi Shaw, Mitchell Marsh, Yash Dhull and Abhishek Porel have all failed to perform with the bat. In the T20 format, where the fate of the games are decided mostly with the bat, DC’s batters have been completely out of tune this season.
Only Axar Patel and Manish Pandey have been decent enought with the bat with Patel scoring 125 runs in five matches and Manish Pandey making 76 runs in 3 matches.
Apart from this, DC has quality bowlers like Anrich Nortje, Mustafizur Rahman, Mitchell Marsh, and Axar Patel and Kuldeep Yadav.
In fact, the bowling unit of DC looks better than that of KKR’s. But, with batters being completely out of form, it has been really hard for the Delhi bowlers.
KKR: Litton Das, N Jagadeesan, Nitish Rana, Venkatesh Iyer, Rinku Singh, Sunil Narine, Rinku Singh, Shardul Thakur, Lockie Fergusson, Umesh Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy.
DC: David Warner ©, Mukesh Kumar, Abhishek Porell (wk), Anrich Nortje, Prithvi Shaw, Manish Pandey, Kuldeep Yadav, Mustafizur Rahman, Yash Dhull, Rovman Powell, Axar Patel and Lalit Yadav.