Kolkata Knight Riders are set to host the Delhi Capitals at the iconic Eden Gardens for the 26th fixture of IPL 2019.
KKR made an emphatic start to the season courtesy some blistering performances from Andre Russell & Co. With four wins and a couple of defeats in their six league games, the Knight Riders are comfortably lying at the second spot in the points table.
It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to state that the first half of the Indian Premier League has mostly been about Andre Russell. His batting exploits have single-handedly, on more occasions than one, have influenced KKR’s fortunes.
Since then, the road for either side has been a bit of a contrast. While Delhi were beaten by Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad, before bouncing back against Royal Challengers Bangalore, KKR picked up emphatic wins against RCB and Rajasthan Royals, before succumbing to the spin-twins in Chennai.
Delhi, after a comfortable win over RCB, have been hampered by injuries. They held trials in Kolkata to explore options for replacements, as coach Ricky Ponting confirmed on the eve of the match.
While a lot of chatter in the Delhi camp will encompass containing Russell, they can take a cue from the CSK game where the spinners were able to keep him quiet largely.
Delhi Capitals will fancy their chances against KKR after registering a confidence-boosting four-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last outing.
Captain Shreyas Iyer led from the front with a matured 67 after ace South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada returned figures of 4/21 to dent RCB’s charge. Young Prithvi Shaw also looked in sublime touch when he hit five consecutive fours off Tim Southee, each of which was a shot to savour.
A chink in Delhi’s armour though has been Shikhar Dhawan’s woeful form and the World Cup-bound opener would like to get some runs as early as possible.