IPL 2021: Batting a major concern for both KKR and Delhi

Ayaz Memon/Mumbai
Filed on April 28, 2021
Kolkata Knight Riders' Shubman Gill is going through a lean phase. (BCCI)

Kolkata's fragile batting has made the team vulnerable

In their last two games, Delhi Capitals have been involved in last-ball finishes, winning one, losing the other. Against Hyderabad, they protected a modest score to tie the match and in the Super Over, held their nerve to win by a solitary run.

Against RCB, however, they failed to get the all-important single to tie the match, and lost by one run in a cliffhanger, showing that wee bit of mental fragility which Virat Kohli’s team exploited successfully.

The fact that the free-flowing Rishabh Pant failed to take his team to victory against RCB despite spending so much time in the middle raises the question whether the responsibility of captaincy was affecting his batting.

Without Shikhar Dhawan making a significant contribution, Delhi’s batting does look a little wobbly. Prithvi Shaw is mercurial and Steve Smith still hasn’t found his best form. Against RCB, without Shimron Hetmyer’s sensational hitting towards the end, Delhi would have lost by a mile.

The bigger concern for DC, however, is in spearhead Kagiso Rabada’s failure to pick up wickets. The brilliant South African has been among the highest wicket-takers in the past two seasons. In five matches this time, he has just five wickets at an economy rate of 8.94.

But DC’s bowling has been otherwise quite fantastic. Young Avesh Khan and the veteran Amit Mishra have excelled. Ishant Sharma’s belated entry was hugely effective. It is important to remember, though, that R Ashwin is no longer available, so they are missing a wicket-taking bowler.

The Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, beat Punjab Kings convincingly in the first outing at Ahmedabad to turn things around after four consecutive defeats. But this did not completely eliminate doubts about the form of the team.

At one stage against Punjab, KKR had lost three wickets for next to nothing. Eoin Morgan’s sterling captain’s knock steered the team to victory, but it did not suggest KKR had overcome all shortcomings.

Shubman Gill, their best batsman last season, is going through a lean phase, having made just 33 runs in five matches. Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi promise more than they deliver. Morgan himself has had just one innings of note.

Kolkata’s fragile batting has made the team vulnerable, leaving their impressive bowlers facing a massive challenge in every match to keep them in the hunt.

Players To Watch Out For:

DC: Shimron Hetmyer, Amit Mishra, Shikhar Dhawan

KKR: Eoin Morgan, Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine

Thursday’s match

Delhi vs Kolkata

6pm UAE Time

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