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Match Preview – DC vs KKR 16th Match, IPL


Match details

Delhi Capitals (DC) vs Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
Visakhapatnam, 1930 IST (1400 GMT)

Big Picture – Whose home ground is it anyway?

Visakhapatnam might be Delhi Capitals’ alternate home venue, but it was a sea of yellow when they played here a couple of days back. That was mostly down to them playing against Chennai Super Kings – more specially, MS Dhoni. When they play Kolkata Knight Riders, Capitals will hope for some more red and blue in the stands as they look to climb up the points table.

Capitals know what it’s like to fall behind early in the IPL. They lost their first five games in IPL 2023, which made coming back into the tournament tough. The victory against CSK was important keeping that in mind.

They don’t have the batting depth that some of the other teams boast of, and will need their top order to fire again, and keep firing through the tournament.

Crucially, Prithvi Shaw, who was among the runs in his first outing in IPL 2024 in the game against CSK, and David Warner have excellent numbers against KKR – no one has scored more than Warner’s 1075 against KKR, while Shaw averages 45 against KKR, and his highest score of 99 also came against them, in 2019.

Rishabh Pant‘s move to No. 3 against CSK showed positive intent from Capitals, and he repaid the faith with a quick half-century.

But they will want runs from the other batters, too.

It won’t be easy against KKR, who have won both their games so far this season. They had a scare in the opening game of the season against Sunrisers Hyderabad but scored a clinical win against RCB. KKR don’t have a lot of holes to plug, but the one area that needs sorting is their powerplay bowling.

It’s still early days in the tournament, but KKR have the poorest powerplay economy among all the teams so far – 10.75. That is partly down to Mitchell Starc having a nightmare start to his IPL season. The fast bowler has been taken for a combined 100 runs and is yet to take a wicket. In conditions which might aid swing and seam, Starc will hope for better returns.

As will the batting pack with the exception of Andre Russell, Phil Salt and Venkatesh Iyer.

Team news and Impact Player strategy

Delhi Capitals
Capitals brought in Shaw for the previous game, a move that paid off. He was later subbed off with Rasikh Salam coming in. If Capitals bowl first, depending on the surface, there is a chance Salam or Lalit Yadav get into the first XI, with Shaw coming in later. Vice versa if they bat first.

Kuldeep Yadav missed the game against CSK because of a niggle, and Capitals would hope he returns soon, for this game if possible.

Another concern for Capitals is the form of their two overseas players Tristan Stubbs and Anrich Nortje. Stubbs was cleaned up for a first-ball duck against CSK, while Nortje has looked rusty in his two outings so far. Jhye Richardson bowled at full tilt in the nets ahead of Capitals’ previous fixture, and could slot in if they want to give a break to Nortje. Capitals could also consider bringing in Jake Fraser-McGurk in place of Stubbs.

Probable XII: 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 David Warner, 3 Rishabh Pant (capt, wk), 4 Mitchell Marsh 5 Tristan Stubbs/Jake Fraser-McGurk, 6 Axar Patel, 7 Abishek Porel, 8 Anrich Nortje/Jhye Richardson, 9 Mukesh Kumar, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Khaleel Ahmed, 12 Rasikh Salam/Lalit Yadav

Kolkata Knight Riders
Varun Chakravarthy bowled just two overs in KKR’s previous game before being subbed off for Angkrish Raghuvanshi. Legspinner Suyash Sharma is another option for that spot, with Raghuvanshi the Impact Player once more swapping places with Suyash or Chakravarthy.

Venkatesh seemed to have tweaked his back in KKR’s previous game and was seen hobbling, but bowling coach Bharat Arun confirmed he was “fit and rearing to go”.

Probable XII: 1 Phil Salt (wk), 2 Sunil Narine, 3 Venkatesh Iyer, 4 Shreyas Iyer (capt), 5 Angkrish Raghuvanshi 6 Rinku Singh, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Ramandeep Singh, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Anukul Roy, 11 Harshit Rana, 12 Varun Chakravarthy/Suyash Sharma

Pitch and conditions

The pitch for the first game in Vizag had a decent covering of grass. It aided swing and seam movement almost throughout the 40 overs, and even swung even more under lights. Similar conditions could be expected for the DC vs KKR game, too. There’s also a warning for excessive heat and humidity in Vizag, so something for the teams to note.

In the spotlight – Can Mitchell Starc have an impact?

After being overlooked for the first two games, Prithvi Shaw “came out of the gate like a raging bull”, in the words of Mitchell McClenaghan on ESPNcricinfo’s TimeOut.

Shaw has had a rough time of it on and off the field in the recent past, but on Saturday, as he strode out for his first hit in IPL 2024, he seemed to be in great touch, scoring a 27-ball 43. Shaw’s form is important to Capitals’ hopes of going deep in the tournament, and they will be delighted with the way he has begun.

Every time Mitchell Starc comes on to bowl, it comes with that INR 24.75 crore price tag attached to him. Playing in the IPL for the first time since 2015, Starc has leaked runs big time. He went for 53 in his opening game against SRH and then 47 against RCB and is yet to figure in the wickets column. He will dearly hope to turn his fortunes around the next time he is out in the park.

Stats that matter – Rishabh Pant in sight of 3000

  • Pant needs 65 runs to reach 3000 runs in IPL. If he gets there, he will be the 22nd player in the league to achieve the mark.
  • Kuldeep picks up a wicket every six balls against KKR, his former franchise. In three matches to date, he has ten wickets with best bowling figures of 4 for 14.
  • Warner has smashed Sunil Narine for 195 runs in 123 balls in 16 IPL innings, only falling to him twice.
  • Pant strikes at 195.00 against Andre Russell in the IPL but has also fallen to the fast bowler three times in six innings.

Quotes

“I hope the crowd will be with DC this time and will support us. We will also make sure the crowd is enjoying. We want to finish on a nice note because it is our last game here in Vizag.”
Pravin Amre is hoping to feel more at home

“He is one of the most experienced bowlers around the world and also someone who understands the conditions and adapts to them very well. You will see a different version of him in the future. He knows what it takes to succeed.”
KKR bowling coach Bharat Arun is not worried about Starc’s form

Ashish Pant is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo



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