It was yet another thriller in Hyderabad last night, but we now move to Delhi as a new look Delhi Daredevils take on mid-table Kolkata Knight Riders. Here are the top tips and players to pick from the match.
1 Prithvi Shaw 2 Colin Munro 3 Shreyas Iyer (c) 4 Rishabh Pant (wk) 5 Glenn Maxwell 6 Vijay Shankar 7 Rahul Tewatia 8 Liam Plunkett 9 Amit Mishra 10 Avesh Khan 11 Trent Boult
Kolkata Knight Riders
1 Chris Lynn 2 Sunil Narine 3 Robin Uthappa 4 Nitish Rana 5 Dinesh Karthik (c/wk) 6 Andre Russell 7 Shubman Gill 8 Tom Curran 9 Piyush Chawla 10 Shivam Mavi 11 Kuldeep Yadav
Here is my squad for the match.
Subs Used – 2
Subs Left – 41
Virat Kohli -> Chris Lynn
KL Rahul -> Robin Uthappa
Siddarth Kaul -> Nitish Rana
Power Player – Rishabh Pant (if DD bat first)/Robin Uthappa (if KKR bat first)
2nd Innings Power Player – Robin Uthappa (if DD bat first)/Rishabh Pant (if KKR bat first)
With Gautam Gambhir having resigned, it could be a completely new look Delhi side. With so much uncertainty around Delhi, and uncertainty how the players will respond to a completely untested leader in Shreyas Iyer, it’s perhaps unwise to stock up on Delhi players. Keeping that in mind, I’m only going for my one pick – Rishabh Pant. Pant has been extremely consistent so far, having scored more than 20 in all matches but one. He had a great knock against Kolkata last time out and he’ll love their army of spinners, especially considering it’s Kotla, also his personal home ground.
There’s uncertainty around the rest – Munro has had his problems against spin, Maxwell has blown hot and cold and might bat too low, remains to be seen how Iyer responds to the pressure, and Plunkett won’t repeat his 3 wicket haul very often.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata are extremely settled, and have 2 fixtures in the next 4 – with the second against a hapless RCB on a flat Bangalore deck. With that in mind, it’s wise to stock up on KKR options. I’m bringing in Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa. Lynn made his return back to form against Punjab, with a blazing 74. Against a Delhi side whose bowling attack has blown hot and cold, he may come good again. It may also be a flatter deck this time, given how disastrously the Delhi batting unit failed on a slow and low pitch last time out. Delhi will invariably turn to pace to get rid of Sunil Narine at the start, which will allow Lynn a breather.
And when Narine is dismissed, Uthappa comes into play. Delhi will then turn to spin to get rid of Lynn, which will help Uthappa – who’s been batting like an absolute dream, and tonking spinners out of the mark for fun. He’s only notched up attractive 30s so far, but a big score is just around the corner with the way he’s timing the ball.
I’m ignoring Sunil Narine and Andre Russell for now. Gambhir is still in the Delhi camp, and he knows Narine’s weaknesses better than anyone. Even in their last meeting, Boult only bowled yorkers or bouncers to Narine – and got rid of him for 1 off 4 balls. His bowling might not be very handy too, as in Maxwell, Iyer and Pant, Delhi have some of the best players of spin. He was indeed smacked by Pant in their last meeting, before he came back to get 3 cheap wickets of the tail. Russell had hamstring issues, and might not bowl at all – he comes too far low down to have as a specialist batsman in Fantasy.
Nitish Rana is certainly the top one here – at his home ground in Kotla, in supreme form with the bat and might also get a bowl with Russell unlikely to roll over his arm. If you can’t afford him, other alternatives include Prithvi Shaw or Avesh Khan, both of whom looked sharp against Punjab. Shivam Mavi and Shubman Gill might not get appropriate opportunities – Mavi doesn’t often complete his quota of 4, while Gill comes too far lower down the order.