Business Standard

Battle of spinners looms at Kotla


Press Trust of India New Delhi
Delhi Capitals will be playing on their home turf but there is a possibility that the conditions may turn out to be favourable for the visiting Kolkata Knight Riders when the two teams clash in an IPL match here Saturday.
In the last match too, it was Chennai Super Kings who exploited the slow conditions at Kotla better than the home side with their spinners taking full advantage of the track on which batting became challenging as the game wore on.
KKR also have a world-class spin bowling attack led by India's premier bowler Kuldeep Yadav. The wily Sunil Narine, along with Piyush Chawla, makes it a very potent attack.
Both Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant have been in good form but it remains to be seen if the Feroze Shah Kotla track and the KKR spin trio allow them to free their arms.
Pant has made an inspiring start this season with blistering knocks (78 and 25) in the first two games and Dhawan too has been in good nick. Both of them know the conditions well and would require to use their knowledge in suitably planning their batting.
But more than anything, the Delhi spinners -- Axar Patel, Rahul Tewatiya and Amit Mishra -- will have to be on top form while dealing with the in-form KKR batsmen.
Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Robin Uthappa and Shubhman Gill are all among runs. Russell, with his incredible power-hitting ability, is the most dangerous batsman.
KKR owe both their wins to the burly West Indian, who has smacked the bowlers around. Taming him will be the key and that is the challenge for Patel and Mishra.
Rana has been impressive as an opener and in the middle order too in the first two games. The performance of young Gill will be watched keenly since he is tipped to be a future India star.
Apart from Delhi's spinners, young South African pacer Kagiso Rabada will also have to take the load of stopping runs in the beginning. He too is considered one for the future.
It will be interesting to see what kind of track Delhi Capitals opts for in the remainder of the home matches with the BCCI curator said to have been withdrawn.
The Teams (From):

Delhi Capitals: Shreyas Iyer (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Kasigo Rabada, Axar Patel, Chris Morris, Colin Munro, Avesh Khan, Bandaru Ayyappa, Harshal Patel, Nathu Singh, Sandeep Lamichhane, Trent Boult, Hanuma Vihari, Jalaj Saxena, Keemo Paul, Rahul Tewatia, Ankush Bains, Sherfane Rutherford, Colin Ingram and Manjot Karla.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (capt), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Nitish Rana, Nikhil Naik, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Harry Gurney, K C Cariappa and Yarra Prithviraj.

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First Published: Mar 29 2019 | 11:30 AM IST

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