The Delhi Capitals (DC) will take on the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Match 25 of IPL 2021 in Ahmedabad. It will be the second game of the doubleheader on Thursday. While DC will aim to get back to winning ways, KKR will be hoping to continue the momentum after beating Punjab Kings (PBKS) in their last game.
DC skipper Rishabh Pant was criticized for not being able to get his team over the line against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), despite being unbeaten on 58 off 48 balls. A brilliant cameo from Shimron Hetmyer too went in vain as RCB won by just one run. DC will be determined to get over the heartbreaking defeat and put up a strong showing against KKR.
KKR were clinical against a struggling PBKS side and got home comfortably in their first game at Ahmedabad. It would certainly have boosted their spirits and instilled belief that they are capable of beating any team on their day.
Get the latest IPL 2021 live score here for today's match!
DC vs KKR: 3 batsmen to watch out for
The Ahmedabad pitch has a bit more pace and bounce than the one in Chennai. However, the length of the boundaries, especially the square of the wicket, are huge, thus making runs on the board a very important factor once again.
On that note, let's have a look at three batsmen who can make a difference in this encounter:
#3 Eoin Morgan
It is sometimes difficult to fathom how Eoin Morgan has been such an underrated T20 batsman. Known for his unorthodox shots since his early days, Morgan has grown into a reliable batsman for whichever team he plays.
The man behind England's fearless brand of white-ball cricket, Morgan took over the reins of KKR last year halfway through the IPL 2020 season. Although KKR just missed out on the playoffs spot, there was one grave issue that cost them — their batting woes.
Morgan has shown on a number of occasions exactly what he can do when he bats higher up the order. However, to accommodate the likes of Sunil Narine and Dinesh Karthik, the 34-year-old has demoted himself a number of times. This has certainly not helped KKR's cause as they have had issues with their batting.
In the last game against PBKS, KKR were chasing just over a run-a-ball to win the game. However, they got off to the worst possible start, and were reeling at 17-3. But this time, Morgan had plenty of deliveries left which allowed him to take some time to settle in.
The KKR skipper scored a magnificent unbeaten 47 that saw his team home comfortably. Hopefully, this win has given the KKR management a clear picture that the skipper needs to bat at No. 4 and not any number below. At his best, Morgan can destroy the DC bowling attack single-handedly.
#2 Prithvi Shaw
When Prithvi Shaw was first dropped from the DC side last year towards the end of IPL 2020, and then from the Indian team after a poor outing in Australia, there were serious problems with his technique. The 21-year-old was called a flat track bully and was written off as someone who was overrated.
However, Shaw went back to his basics and worked on his technique with former India batsman Pravin Amre. This helped him immensely as he hit a record 827 runs in just 8 games in the 2021 Vijay Hazare Trophy. Shaw's incredible run included three tons and a double-ton at an astounding average of above 165.
Shaw has brought that form into the IPL 2021 season, hitting a blistering 72 in the very first game. Another half-century followed against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), but he was disappointed not to make his start count against RCB.
Thus, the 21-year-old will be keen to get into the groove against KKR and score big once again. With 187 runs from five games, Shaw is looking good to make this a breakthrough season for himself.
#1 Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan's T20 game has transformed ever since he moved to DC. Honing his skills under coach Ricky Ponting's tutelage has helped him immensely. The southpaw has scored 265 runs already in just 5 innings this season and was the leading run-scorer until Faf du Plessis overtook him on Wednesday.
Dhawan, however, didn't get a good start against RCB and the DC batting really looked brittle without their main opener not firing. Thus, getting him back among the runs against KKR will be crucial for DC's chances of winning the game.
Scoring runs consistently for DC is vital for Dhawan since a fantastic IPL 2021 outing might help to seal the 35-year-old's place as India's first-choice opener in the T20 World Cup later this year.