As BCCI curator withdraws, it will be interesting to see what kind of track Delhi Capitals opts for in the remainder of the home matches.
Four days after being softened up by Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capital faces another wicketkeeper-led visiting side in Kolkata Knight Riders at the Ferozeshah Kotla ground on Saturday.
Dinesh Karthik is no Dhoni but leads a team that is riding on two wins after as many rounds at home. For the next two weeks, Kolkata will be on the road. An early away-win will not only boost its belief but also help in inching closer to a place in the playoffs.
Delhi batted in its previous two matches with contrasting results. Looking to win in front of its supporters, the host now will seek more contributions from its batsmen, not that its bowling resources are inadequate.
For the side batting first, 170 runs on this pitch appears just about par. With the surface known to be kind to the slower bowlers, Kolkata’s Sunil Narain, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla could well hold the key.
In comparision, Delhi’s pace resources look more lethal with Ishant Sharma, Trent Boult and Kagiso Rabada. Boult was rested against CSK while Rabada looked less effective than he did in Mumbai.
So far, Kolkata’s Nitish Rana is in top form with two half-centuries. Robin Uthappa displayed early form and Andre Russell delivered two match-turning cameos. Obviously, Delhi coach Ricky Ponting and adviser Sourav Ganguly don’t have to look too far on the areas to focus.
Similarly, Kolkata will aim to keep Shikhar Dhawan and an unpredictable Rishabh Pant from hitting top gear. Opener Prithvi Shaw will have to look for more than just only getting the ball across the boundary line. Skipper Shreyas Iyer believes he has a big knock round the corner.
Overall, expectations weigh lightly on Delhi than they do on Kolkata.
The Teams (From):
Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Kasigo Rabada, Axar Patel, Chris Morris, Colin Munro, Avesh Khan, Bandaru Ayyappa, Harshal Patel, Nathu Singh, Sandeep Lamichhane, Trent Boult, Hanuma Vihari, Jalaj Saxena, Keemo Paul, Rahul Tewatia, Ankush Bains, Sherfane Rutherford, Colin Ingram and Manjot Karla.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (capt), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Nitish Rana, Nikhil Naik, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Harry Gurney, K C Cariappa and Yarra Prithviraj.
Match starts at 8 p.m.