The Delhi Capitals (DC) will face the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in game 41 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday. Both Delhi and Kolkata have been disappointing after getting off to good starts in the tournament. Delhi have lost four of their seven matches and are languishing at the seventh place in the points table. Kolkata have fared even worse. They do not have a single victory in their last four matches and are at number eight in the points table. DC lost to RR by 15 runs in their previous match. Chasing 223, they fell just short in a game marred by the no-ball controversy. KKR failed to chase 157 against the Gujarat Titans (GT) in their previous match, going down by eight runs. Here are five player battles to watch out for in DC vs KKR contest.
1. Prithvi Shaw vs Umesh Yadav: Delhi opener Prithvi Shaw has been in fantastic form for the franchise. He has come in and gone berserk from the word go. Shaw only knows one way to bat and playing in an aggressive fashion makes him really dangerous. He will be keen to carry on the momentum, knowing very well that DC are depending a lot on him. Umesh Yadav has gone off the boil after a brilliant start to IPL 2022. Apart from not picking too many wickets, he has been expensive as well. KKR will need him to lift his game since this is crunch time. Even if he doesn’t pick up too many scalps, Kolkata will be happy if he can see the back of Shaw early.
2. Shreyas Iyer vs Mustafizur Rahman: Shreyas Iyer has played two good knocks in IPL 2022, but both of them have come in losing causes. The KKR captain came into the tournament with great form. He looked good in the initial matches but hasn’t been able to consistently convert the form into runs. He has been visibly troubled by the short ball more than once. Mustafizur Rahman doesn’t have the express pace but is a slippery customer. He has the experienced and variations and will be aware of what is troubling Iyer. Can he prey on the KKR captain’s weakness?
3. David Warner vs Tim Southee: Apart from Shaw, David Warner also has been in fantastic form for DC at the top of the order. He has played some terrific knocks, although all of them have not been in winning causes, because the other batters have let the team down. Warner will look to continue doing his job, which is to score big runs and at a super-fast pace. In the last match, Tim Southee was excellent for KKR with figures of 3 for 24. He has the experience and skills to trouble the best in the T20 format. Warner is definitely among the best in the business. Does Southee have some tricks to unsettle him?
4. Andre Russell vs Khaleel Ahmed: Andre Russell has been among the few positives for KKR in the batting department. Whenever he has come in, he has played a handy knock more often than not to lift the team. The ball has constantly found the middle of the bat and has gone for big sixes. Khaleel Ahmed has been excellent for DC in the first half as well as at the death. He has varied his pace smartly. Can he find a method to outfox the big-hitting Russell?
5. Rovman Powell vs Varun Chakravarthy: In DC’s last match against RR, Rovman Powell finally displayed his big-hitting power, with some crunching sixes. However, he does struggle against the slow bowlers. Varun Chakravarthy has been in extremely poor form for KKR this season. The match-up againstPowell gives him a chance to gain some confidence. If he manages to outfox the big-hitter, it would give him some much-needed boost.
–Renin Wilben Albert