Sharjah: Explosive batsmen Andre Russell and Rishabh Pant will be eyeing the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Delhi Capitals (DC) on a relatively small ground in Sharjah on Saturday. In the last match against Rajasthan Royals, Russell had shown his aggressive attitude by hitting 3 sixes on the big ground of Dubai, but Pant has so far failed to show his natural game and he is more cautious.
ALSO READ- IPL 2020: Priyam Garg-Abhishek Sharma pair got this interesting record
Pant will also be under pressure as their competitors like KL Rahul, Ishaan Kishan and Sanju Samson are doing well. This will be the first time in the current season of IPL, while 2 matches will be played in a day, but out of these matches in Sharjah, there is a possibility of runs because the boundaries are small here.
If KKR has batsmen like Shubman Gill, Andre Russell and Eoin Morgan, then Pant, Marcus Stoinis and Shreyas Iyer are present in the Delhi camp. All of them are adept at playing big shots and are ready to increase to 62 sixes with 2 matches played so far on this ground. KKR seems to be slowly returning to the rhythm while Delhi suffered defeat in the last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad after 2 wins.
In the last match, KKR’s young fast bowlers Kamlesh Nagerkoti and Shivam Mavi performed well but here will be their real test where the wicket is favorable for batting. Sunil Narayan could not walk as a batsman in the first three matches and scored only 24 runs but KKR will probably not make any changes in their winning combination. Narayan, however, left his mark in bowling as usual.
The team has a reserve opener in the form of Tom Banton but looking at Sharjah’s ground, KKR would like to keep Narayan in the top order which can dominate Indian bowlers like Mohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma or Avesh Khan. The way the Indian fast bowlers are bowling in the Delhi team, they can shower runs against them in Sharjah. In such a situation, the responsibility of bowling coach Ryan Harris has also increased.
Harris feels that his team did not give their best in the last match and there is no need to be upset right now. The former Australian fast bowler said on the eve of the match, “The defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad was unfortunate. We were not able to give our best performance in that match but there is no need to get upset in any way.
Ravichandran Ashwin can be available for selection on Saturday after being injured in the first match. Harris said, ‘He is making good progress. Last night he spent a good time in bowling, batting and fielding so tomorrow may be available for selection but we are still waiting for confirmation from our medical department.
In Delhi’s batting department, Shimron Hetmyer has not been able to show up yet but the formula that applies to Narayan in KKR’s team also applies to the captain of the Under-19 World Cup winning team of West Indies. However, he will have to face spin bowlers like Kuldeep Yadav and Varun Chakraborty. Hetmyer had some success in front of Kuldeep at the international level and there is likely to be an interesting contest between the two on the pitch which is considered to be heaven for batsmen.
Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shimron Hetmyer, Kagiso Rabada, Ajinkya Rahane, Amit Mishra, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ishant Sharma, Akshar Patel, Sandeep Lemichane, Chemo Paul, Daniel Symes, Mohit Sharma , Enrique Narje, Alex Carey, Avesh Khan, Tusshar Deshpande, Harshal Patel, Marcus Stoinis, Lalit Yadav.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (captain and wicketkeeper), Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagerkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, famous Krishna, Rinku Singh, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Sunil Narayan, Pat Cummins, Eoin Morgan, Varun Chakraborty, Tom Banton, Rahul Tripathi, Chris Green, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik, Ali Khan.
The match in Sharjah ground will start at 7.30 pm.