Delhi Capitals (DC) will face Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the second match of the IPL 2020 double header on Saturday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Both teams go in having won two out of three matches.
Delhi got off to a flying start in IPL 2020, registering victories in their first two matches. However, they were exposed to some extent by Sunrisers Hyderabad, who managed to stifle them with some excellent bowling.
In contrast, KKR were taken down by Mumbai Indians in their opening encounter, but have come back well since. In their most recent match, they got the better of Rajasthan Royals, who were on a high having registered a record chase against Kings XI Punjab.
Head-to-head, KKR have a 13-10 win-loss record against Delhi. As the teams get ready to face off, we take a look at three key player battles that could have an impact on the match.
#1. Prithvi Shaw vs Pat Cummins
DC opener Prithvi Shaw has had a mixed run in the tournament so far. While he fell for single-figure scores against Punjab and Hyderabad, Shaw made a match-winning fifty in the game against Chennai. When in form, Shaw can score aggressively and put the opposition bowlers under pressure early on. With Shikhar Dhawan struggling with his rhythm, Delhi would want Shaw to score freely.
It will be a tough ask for the youngster against the pace of Pat Cummins, who made even a great batsman like Steve Smith look ordinary in the clash against Rajasthan. Buoyed by his effort in the previous match, Cummins will look to attack Shaw and unsettle him. Given all his experience, he will have the upper hand for sure. The Shaw vs Cummins battle has the potential to be the game-changer.
#2. Kagiso Rabada vs Shubman Gill
Irrespective of whether Delhi have won or lost, pacer Kagiso Rabada has been exceptional. His ability to get the big wickets at key moments in the game as well as his consistency at bowling yorkers makes him a special talent. In three matches so far, Rabada has produced brilliant performances. The 25-year-old already has seven wickets to his name at a strike rate of 10.28 and a sensational economy rate of 6.25. He has just not allowed the opposition batsmen to get away. When the going gets tough, expect skipper Shreyas Iyer to turn to Rabada.
At the top of the innings, young KKR opener Shubman Gill will come up against Rabada. Gill has displayed fine form in IPL 2020 so far with scores of 70 not out and 47 in the last two matches. He has looked fluent out in the middle, and has got the team off to assured shots. Rabada will look to target Gill with his pace and bounce. He fell to Jofra Archer in the previous match, so the young batsman will have some thinking to do against Rabada.
#3. Rishabh Pant vs Varun Chakravarty
Delhi’s dashing wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant is yet to set the tournament on fire. In three matches so far, he has registered scores of 31, 37 not out and 28. The numbers demonstrate that Pant has failed to convert his start to the innings every time he has been out in the middle. Pant will look to play an influential knock, knowing that he can put pressure on the opposition with his aggressive batting.
His battle with spinner Varun Chakravarty will be one to look forward to. The leg break bowler has had two very good games so far. Chakravarty has claimed 1 for 25 and 2 for 25, and has been very difficult to get away. Significantly, Chakravarty has dismissed two key left-handers in David Warner and Rahul Tewatia with his impressive variations. Pant will thus have his task cut out. At the same time, he could be the man to break Chakravarty’s stranglehold if he can come up with his best attacking game.Published 03 Oct 2020, 17:17 IST