The Delhi Capitals (DC) have had a week to ponder the events of their 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter against the Rajasthan Royals (RR), but tensions may not have simmered down just yet. Robbed of a chance at a once-in-a-lifetime final-over win due to a dubious no-ball call, DC slipped to seventh in the IPL points table with just three wins from seven games.
When the Capitals take on the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Match 41 of IPL 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Thursday, April 28, they will have one more chance to resuscitate a campaign that hasn't quite taken off yet. COVID-19 cases and the unavailability of certain overseas superstars have ravaged DC's season, and they are running out of time to stake a genuine claim for a playoff spot in a highly competitive 10-team league.
Fortunately for DC, they face an opposition they've already beaten this year, and in comprehensive fashion too. A stellar Prithvi Shaw-David Warner opening partnership and a four-wicket haul from former KKR player Kuldeep Yadav fired them to a 44-run win, one that has been followed by mixed results. Also playing into the Capitals' hands is KKR's serious dip in form.
After winning three of their first four fixtures, the two-time champions have suffered a four-game losing streak that was sparked by the DC loss. KKR's last two defeats have been close games, but it's clear that there are serious holes in their playing XI. The top order has looked completely out of sorts, while death bowling and pace enforcement in the middle overs have left a lot to be desired. The Knight Riders need to get their act together immediately, as another loss to a IPL team placed similarly in the points table could spell doom for their IPL 2022 playoff fortunes.
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IPL 2022 Match Prediction: DC vs KKR
KKR's powerplay influence with the ball has waned drastically. Umesh Yadav hasn't been as penetrative recently, with the likes of Pat Cummins having been dropped from the playing XI. Tim Southee has been a much better T20 option over the last few years, while Shivam Mavi appears to be finding his feet after a slow start.
While things are looking up for KKR, whether they can dominate Shaw and Warner is a different matter altogether. The duo stitched together a 93-run opening partnership in their previous IPL 2022 meeting, and Shaw in particular has enjoyed playing against the Knight Riders. But if they can take an early wicket or two, DC's inconsistent middle order could crumble under the spin threat in the middle overs.
Overall, while DC and KKR are fairly evenly matched with out-and-out match-winners on both sides, the former are the more well-rounded side. With Rovman Powell striking some form and Kolkata looking bereft of answers even in games they should've won, Rishabh Pant could wear a much happier look at the end of an IPL 2022 game this time around.
Prediction: DC to win Match 41 of IPL 2022
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