Live Match Blog – Capitals vs KKR 41st Match 2021 – Cricket Insights
Get your fix of Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Capitals stats, color and analysis on ESPNcricinfo’s live blog
Eoin Morgan’s Kolkata Knight Riders are in a middle-of-the-table gap to make the top four. The Delhi Capitals of Rishabh Pant are aiming for the top of the table. Big game to come.
You can find bullet-by-bullet commentary here in English and here in Hindi. If you’re in the US, you can watch today’s game on ESPN + in English, as well as Hindi.
What’s going on with Sharjah?
Do you see what I see? Last season was the field ahead and let go of your stick. Look above for the scores achieved in the first rounds in Sharjah last year. Only four innings gave less than 150. But more than the score itself, it was the promise of arriving at a good wicket on a small field.
It seems to be completely out of the picture for this edition. First three innings so far for a total of eight sixes. None in the opening rounds of the game today, and over six wickets have fallen each time. Is it a blow they take to neutralize the place? Shane Warne had suggested three ways he would improve on T20 cricket last year, and one of them was to use a day 4 pitch instead of a “flat road”. Some clues here from Sharjah going in that direction ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Delhi needs a franchise record
Old fashioned KKR
They have traditionally played with six or seven bowling options, most of which are spinners. They moved away from that strategy early in this phase, starting to use Andre Russell a bit more in the middle of the overs and playing him as a fifth bowler. His injury, of course, forced them to compensate somehow. Southee is a more than practical fifth bowler to have, but Venkatesh Iyer’s clever use effectively made them a six-bowl team and ensured that there were still two overs left from their spinners after the 14th. This is bound to have an effect on how the Capitals finish this round.
The best IPL spinners
The numbers confirm what we’ve seen whenever KKR has had their spinners in the middle – they’re simply the best at rolling back a set. The Delhi Capitals’ decision to open Smith did not give a good start. They have completed their slowest fifty of the season and will continue to face rotation for a few more overs now – meaning more risks could be ahead.
Smith to open?
With Shaw injured, it looks like Smith will go straight to his position as opener. Remember, they were only playing three foreign players after Lalit Yadav replaced injured Marcus Stoinis. Smith hasn’t had the best time in the IPL in recent seasons, having had indifferent innings with the Royals before being sacked as captain and then bought out by the Capitals. He’s played five innings for 104 points so far this season, with a hit rate of just under 112. Let’s see how the break and a power-play chance affects his game. hypothesis that he will open, of course, because he looked cranky in the middle order and the capitals are unlikely to move Iyer and Pant.
Smith as opener in the T20: 4 hostels, 135 trails, 147.67 strike rates
The Kolkata Knight Riders love to play in Abu Dhabi, where only Mumbai Indians have a better IPL record than them. They would have been delighted if their first three matches of the second half had gone there, and it showed. With a new combination and a new approach, they used these conditions and were almost successful three out of three times before Ravindra Jadeja showed up. Still, they are back in contention for the playoffs, sitting in fourth place. But with eight points, they are tied with three others and this is another opportunity to break this deadlock. We’ll have to wait and see if Andre Russell will be available for this after suffering a hamstring injury against Chennai. Even if Tim Southee is given a cap, it seems unlikely.
The Delhi Capitals are much more comfortably placed until the playoffs with 16 points on the board and four games to go. They are hoping that players like Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer get big points in the remaining four games.
Varun Shetty is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo