DC Predicted XI vs KKR: Anrich Nortje for Steve Smith makes a lot of sense for Delhi Capitals
- For three matches, DC have banked on Steve Smith without much benefit, and it may not be a bad idea to give the former Australia captain rest and strengthen the bowling department.
Truth be told, Delhi Capitals have been one of the strongest teams this season, perhaps next only to Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore. They beat CSK comprehensively in their first game and lost the last one narrowly to RCB. Placed third on the points table is a true reflection of how the Capitals have performed this season, but they could have been even better.
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Their next opponents are Kolkata Knight Riders, who haven't been in the best of runs in IPL 2021, but, unlike the Capitals, are entering the contest on the back of a win. For three matches, DC have banked on Steve Smith without much benefit, and it may not be a bad idea to give the former Australia captain rest and strengthen the bowling department. Keeping that in mind, here is the probable team Rishabh Pant's DC may field against KKR in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
1 Prithvi Shaw: Young Prithvi Shaw looks confident in his batting, and having gotten starts in the last few games, he would be eager to make it count and continue his upward curve.
2 Shikhar Dhawan: He may have fallen cheaply in the previous game against RCB but that doesn't mean Shikhar Dhawan is out of touch. Dhawan is still one of India's top limited-overs opening batsmen and he would be keen to send that message to Eoin Morgan.
3 Marcus Stoinis: A clean hitter as Marcus Stoinis is wasted batting at No. 5. The Australia all-rounder is capable of inflicting plenty of damage on the opposition's bowling attack and it is time to promote him higher on the batting order and give fellow Australian Steve Smith a rest.
4 Rishabh Pant (Capt/WK): Rishabh Pant looked a little out of sorts, and having gotten DC so close to the line, couldn't get the job done. Pant lacks no shortage of form and a big innings might just be around the corner for the DC captain.
5 Shimron Hetmyer: Time was running out for Shimron Hetmyer but the West Indies batsman did his case a world of good with a wonderful half-century against RCB. However, he needs to keep the same form and momentum going against KKR.
6 Axar Patel: Axar Patel is still your No. 1 spinner with R Ashwin out of the squad. The left-arm spinner's role would increase with the bat if DC are going in with a batsman short.
7 Amit Mishra: Veteran leg-spinner Amit Mishra needs to re-produce a Mumbai Indians-like performance. KKR's batsmen haven't been at their fluent best against spinners and Amit Mishra should take that into consideration.
8 Kagiso Rabada: One of the leading wicket-takers last year, Kagiso Rabada has bowled a lot better than what his figures suggest. He just needs to keep that extra hunger for wickets intact and things should fall in place for the South Africa speedster.
9 Ishant Sharma: Ishant Sharma looked good in his first IPL match of the season, picking up 1/26 and proving he hasn't lost touch in the shorter format either. Another such bowling performance against a team whose batting hasn't been at its best could come at the right time for DC.
10 Anrich Nortje: Anrich Nortje was phenomenal last year for the Capitals and it is worth pondering as to why he hasn't gotten a game yet got them. The South Africa quick's wait needs to end and he should be reunited with his SA bowling partner Rabada to inflict damage with the new ball.
11 Avesh Khan: Young Avesh Khan showed a lot of courage and determination against a batting-heavy unit like RCB and he should be vital for DC to bowl those economical overs in the middle.