Playing XI: If Marcus Stoinis is fit will DC play him instead of Tom Curran against KKR?

Eoin Morgan's team are likely to go in unchanged. The wicket at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium is notoriously slow. But teams chasing have had an advantage here. In the last 20 games played at the venue, including from last season, the team chasing has won 16 times.


Batting: Delhi is likely to continue with the same top-order with Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan opening and Shreyas Iyer at No.3. Shimron Hetmyer, who is capable of a turbo knock, can also be used as a floater based on how the innings progresses. Sharjah is a smaller ground compared to others in the UAE but the slow nature of the wicket means big-hitters like Hetmyer will have to be selective about targeting a bowler. The team also has the cushion of Rishabh Pant and Axar Patel, capable of clearing the ropes, down the order.

Bowling: DC is likely to continue with the same pace attack of Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan. However, given the nature of the wickets at the venue, spinner Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin could be the impact players. Khan went for runs in the last game but will have the team management’s backing in his knockout match. However, the big call for Delhi is whether or not to field Australian Marcus Stonis if he is fit. The all-rounder had suffered a hamstring injury at the start of the restarted IPL. Stoinis’s slower balls and cutters can be effective on this wicket but his inclusion means Tom Curran, a fast-bowling allrounder may have to make way.

Kolkata Knight Riders

Batting: The win over Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has boosted the team’s confidence. Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana will form the core of the top and middle order. Lower down they have smart batsmen like Dinesh Karthik, Eoin Morgan and allrounder Shakib Al-Hasan, all capable of playing the waiting game as well as finding the big shots. If Sunil Narine is able to produce an all-around show, as he did against RCB, DC will find the going tough.

Bowling: KKR pace attack will be led by New Zealander Lockie Ferguson and Shivam Mavi but the team will bank on their highly effective spinners, Shakib Al-Hasan, Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine to not only stifle runs but also take wickets.

Likely teams:

Delhi Capitals: 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Rishabh Pant (capt & wk), 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Axar Patel, 7 R Ashwin, 8 Tom Curran/Marcus Stoinis, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Avesh Khan.

KKR: Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy.

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