IPL: Erratic Knights search for right mix against Delhi
Kolkata Knight Riders managed to return to winning ways against Punjab Kings in their last match but that hardly convinced their supporters about the team’s return to form.
Eoin Morgan’s team has lacked consistency in their batting and bowling resulting in only two wins from their six matches. They quickly need to set their house in order or else might risk losing out on the playoffs berth.
On Thursday, they meet Delhi Capitals, who are flying high with eight points from six games, in Ahmedabad. Having lost against RCB by one run in their last match, they will be keen to learn from their mistakes and put their campaign back on track.
Delhi Capitals’ success has been mainly due to their attacking openers Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan, who have recorded 50-plus partnerships on three occasions.
The Knight Riders, on the other hand, have struggled with their batting. Nitish Rana started with consecutive half-centuries, but he has only 49 runs from his last four outings while Shubman Gill has 89 runs in six innings.
The middle order too has struggled and when they have done well it has been because of the pyrotechnics of Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik or Pat Cummins. More importantly, they haven’t been flexible with their batting order which has added to their woes.
Morgan’s team could try out Karun Nair who has a strike-rate of 155.49 as a T20 opener or even promote Sunil Narine up the order.
KKR might open the bowling with Narine and Shivam Mavi to try and restrict the Capitals’ openers. Shikhar Dhawan is the second highest run-getter and KKR will need to restrict his scoring abilities at the outset. Mavi has kept Dhawan relatively quiet at a strike rate of 90.9 while against Narine, Dhawan scores at only 119.2, having also been dismissed twice.
Young pacer Avesh Khan’s striking abilities and Amit Mishra’s re-emergence have given Delhi Capitals’ attack a nice, all-round sheen.
The Knights will also have to watch out for the explosive Shimron Hetmyer, who made 53 not out off 25 against RCB.