A tightly-knit group of teams are battling away for a spot in the IPL’s top four, and while Chennai appear to be breaking away from the pack Delhi still has some catching up to do. Back at the Eden Gardens tomorrow night, Kolkata will be eager to bounce back on their home turf after an away loss to Chennai halted their momentum. If the Capitals could somehow produce an upset in Kolkata, they could find themselves sitting in the top four again.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Utter dominance in Chennai from the home team somewhat-exposed the Knight Riders not-so-hot batting line-up that could only muster a total of 108/9. Chris Lynn was always going to struggle in this match given the amount of spinners Chennai had in their side, but it was the pace of Deepak Chahar that unravelled the hard-hitting Aussie. It was just one of those matches where nothing went right for them, apart from Andre Russell who is in the form of his life at the moment, the Knight Riders barely gave a yelp. To make matters worse, Russell appeared to hurt his wrist as he finished the innings in pain unbeaten on 50 off 44 balls, his second half century of the tournament. After starting the 2019 IPL like a house on fire, Nitish Rana’s form with the bat has dropped off significantly and Dinesh Karthik isn’t the same batsman he once was last season. A career-best season in the IPL last year saw the skipper averaging almost fifty, his role in the team in 2019 seems to have changed however. The severity of Russell’s injury is unknown, and at this point no news is good news.
The domination of Andre Russell in the 2019 IPL has made it near-impossible to focus on anyone else in their team, the man is striking at 212.39 in the tournament and sits fourth overall in the highest run scorers of 2019. That’s a good indication of where their bowling unit is at, they’ve just lacked any real potency and enthusiasm this season which is making games a lot harder to win. Sure Russell is killing it with the bat, but he’s got to drop off at some point, and where does that leave the team? The Knight Riders would be deeply-disappointed in their spinners at the moment, both Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav were expected to light up the stage but in actual fact have fallen off it. The dominance we’re seeing from Chennai’s spinners would just be rubbing salt into the wound, as it stands they’re basically just relying on their batsmen to get the job done game after game.
A much-needed win against the Royal Challengers keeps Delhi in the playoffs hunt as they head to Eden Gardens where they’ll look to make it back-to-back wins on the road. The drop in form at the top of the order from Shikhar Dhawan has actually benefited skipper Shreyas Iyer who looks to be getting better and better the deeper the tournament goes. A little-more consistency from the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Colin Ingram and Rishabh Pant would have them butting-heads with the top of the table CSK, they just aren’t quite there yet. If anyone was going to challenge Andre Russell head-to-head in a slog-off, it’s Rishabh Pant. The 21-year-old has no fear whatsoever of throwing his wicket away, his self-confidence and ability to back himself is what makes him a notable destroyer in the IPL. Pant has so much talent that he’s got every right to control the tempo of his own innings, we all saw what he did to Mumbai in that opening match! You can just sense that Colin Munro is desperate for an opportunity; it’s astounding that he is yet to make an appearance 25 matches into the tournament.
A four-wicket haul in his last outing has both Kagiso Rabada and the Delhi Capitals up and about, the Proteas quick now leads the purple cap race with 11 wickets. Fellow-South African teammate & all-rounder Chris Morris has joined forces with Rabada bagging 6 wickets in his four outings in the 2019 IPL. A couple of expensive outings for leggy Sandeep Lamichhane might prompt a change with Amit Mishra also in the squad as a specialist spinner. Apart from that, their attack seems to be very-settled unless injuries occur. Axar Patel also deserves a mention, his past three matches with the ball have been outstanding, and his economy in IPL 12 is 7.46 and dropping which has allowed Iyer to bowl him out regularly. The Capitals are one win away from a huge momentum shift, whereas the Knight Riders are one loss away from problems.
Top 4 fantasy picks – Kolkata Knight Riders
- Sunil Narine
- Robin Uthappa
- Andre Russell
- Chris Lynn
Wildcard pick – Prasidh Krishna
Top 4 fantasy picks – Delhi Capitals
- Shreyas Iyer
- Kagiso Rabada
- Rishabh Pant
- Chris Morris
Wildcard pick – Axar Patel
Kolkata Knight Riders (possible) – 1. Chris Lynn 2. Sunil Narine 3. Robin Uthappa 4. Nitish Rana 5. Dinesh Karthik (c & wk) 6. Shubman Gill 7. Andre Russell/Carlos Brathwaite 8. Piyush Chawla 9. Kuldeep Yadav 10. Prasidh Krishna 11. Harry Gurney.
Delhi Capitals (possible) – 1. Prithvi Shaw 2. Shikhar Dhawan/Colin Munro 3. Shreyas Iyer © 4. Colin Ingram 5. Rishabh Pant (wk) 6. Chris Morris 7. Rahul Tewatia 8. Axar Patel 9. Kagiso Rabada 10. Sandeep Lamichhane/Amit Mishra 11. Ishant Sharma.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.