We have a double header in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday with the first of the two IPL 2021 matches seeing the Kolkata Knight Riders taking on the Delhi Capitals in another big match out in Sharjah.
The Capitals have already qualified for the playoffs and are now all in to secure a top two spot to give themselves two shots at making the final. Kolkata are in a crazy race for fourth spot, one which they currently lead but that won’t be the case if they lose here.
Kolkata Knight Riders
It all looked like it was going to plan for the Kolkata Knight Riders when they came back from the delay with a pair of wins. That moved them into the top four but they came to a halt against the Chennai Super Kings over the weekend. There is no shame in that given that the Super Kings sit on top of the table, but the problem comes in the fact that they now play the second best side in the standings so they need to show they are good enough to deliver the goods against the top teams.
Kolkata seem to have come out of the break with the attitude that they are going to die on their sword. They are swiping at everything with the bat and bowling with plenty of aggression. That is a good combination when they are on top in matches, but when they are behind it can easily get them into a bit of a hole. You would think the Knight Riders need at least three wins from their last four to extend their season so wiggle room is beginning to run out for them.
The Delhi Capitals have picked up where they left off both here last season and in the first part of the campaign over in India. They have won both of their matches and they have won them in very convincing fashion. You get the impression that even this early in the regular campaign, the only thing that is going to slow them down ahead of the playoffs is complacency. That usually comes at the end of a tough regular season but the fact there was a four month split in the middle of this one makes me think that won’t happen to the Capitals here.
The Delhi batting just looks awesome at the minute. They have a top six that are all very comfortable in their roles and they are all class players. It is going to take something monumental from the opposing bowlers to stop everyone in that unit. The good thing for the Capitals is that even if their batsmen are restricted they have a very good balance with their bowlers to get the job done. They really do look the real deal.
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Venkatesh Iyer had never even played an IPL match a week or so ago but now he is one of the most important players in the Knight Riders’ batting. He is the one to go after the bowling at the top of the innings and if he comes off he puts Kolkata in a good position.
To combat that Anrich Nortje is going to be a big player for the Delhi Capitals. He has been brilliant for them in the last couple of seasons and comes in here after a spell of 2-18 from his four overs against the Rajasthan Royals.
The pitches in Sharjah have been a little slower than we would have expected so far but even allowing for that, Jason Holder showed in the last game here that you can still clear these ropes with both timing and brute force and I expect these two batting units to follow suit. Kolkata Knight Riders are hitting everything out of the park at the minute and if they connect with the ball here the ground certainly isn’t big enough for them.
Delhi Capitals have some monster hitters in their ranks as well and this Kolkata Knight Riders bowling attack hasn’t been firing on all cylinders since the restart. That makes me think that despite the way the pitch has played here so far that we might see a few sixes in this one. Delhi can free up and look to entertain with the bat now while the Knight Riders appear intent on only playing one way. That makes me think the even money on over 13.5 sixes looks good here.
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