A batting blitzkrieg by Shimron Hetmyer wasn’t enough for DC against RCB, with last year’s finalists falling short by one run. DC will hope the loss is just a blip on what has been an impressive start to the season, with the side currently in third place.
DC did a lot of things right against RCB despite ending up on the losing side, but Rishabh Pant’s captaincy wasn’t one of them. His decision to bowl Marcus Stoinis at the death proved to be disastrous, as the part-timer was carted for a 23-run over by AB de Villiers.
Rishabh Pant’s sedate knock of 58* of 48 balls in a chase of 172 did more harm than good, particularly with Shimron Hetmyer striking at 212 at the other end. IPL’s youngest skipper had a tough outing as captain against RCB and was visibly distraught after failing to get his team over the line. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back against one of the premier white-ball captains in the game.
Eoin Morgan finally got it right in the last match, showcasing his pedigree as both skipper and batsman against the Punjab Kings. An all-round bowling effort didn’t let the PBKS batsmen settle, with KL Rahul’s men posting a meager 124-run target for KKR.
Although KKR stuttered a bit, Eoin Morgan (47*) and Rahul Tripathi (41) ensured the side came out of its four-game losing streak with a five-wicket win.
They have history on their side when it comes to DC, with KKR leading 14-11 head-to-head. But it is DC who have tasted recent success, winning four of the last five clashes between the two sides. KKR need to get a winning run going if they want to make it to the playoffs this season.
IPL 2021: DC vs KKR Match Prediction
With players performing well in their first game in Ahmedabad, DC are unlikely to make any changes. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have any problems in their playing eleven.
Dropping someone of Kagiso Rabada’s caliber would have been unthinkable at the start of the tournament, but the South African has struggled for form this season. With Anrich Nortje and Chris Woakes waiting in the wings, DC may look to give their other overseas pacers some game time.
The Steve Smith experiment hasn’t quite worked out either, with the Australian striking at 112.67 this season. If DC are looking for a change, they can bring in Sam Billings to give them some impetus at the top.
It all came together for KKR in the last game, which should prompt them to persist with the same eleven. Shubman Gill is running out of time at the top and needs to improve on his 14.83 average if he wants to keep his place at the top. After a slew of low scores, Nitish Rana is due a big one as well.
As has been the case with T20 cricket, matchups could determine the fate of the IPL 2021 game. DC’s premier strength is the aggression of their openers, with the franchise winning all games where Shaw and Dhawan have put up a 50+ stand. The former averages 60.25 against KKR, and a strong start for DC could be ominous for Eoin Morgan’s side.
Shivam Mavi was electric at the top in his last game, and the young pacer will be tasked with providing the early breakthrough once again. Shikhar Dhawan scores at just 90.9 against Mavi in the IPL, and sending the league’s top scorer back early will be crucial to KKR’s chances.
Another interesting battle will be between Amit Mishra and Andre Russell. The DC leg-spinner is a man reborn this season, picking up six wickets in four games. Andre Russell strikes at just 105 against Amit Mishra, and the DC spinner would surely be brought on if Russell comes out to bat in the middle overs.
Eoin Morgan will look to put his hand up during the death overs, particularly with the explosive batsman striking at 358.33 against Kagiso Rabada in the IPL without ever being dismissed.
DC have managed to win games without putting in a perfect performance this season, which is a testament to the quality in their ranks. They will step onto the field with a point to prove on Thursday and expect them to win the game.
KKR are on the up after their comprehensive performance in the last game, but the deficiencies in their side are crystal clear. It can all go awry quickly for them if they continue to stick by their underperforming players, and DC may be too much for them at the moment.
Prediction: DC to win