Delhi-vs-Kolkata match predication

Time: October 3, 7:30 PM IST

Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah

Pitch report

We will be back at the Bermuda Triangle for bowlers. Here, even mishits go over the roof and onto the streets. If you have to bowl a bouncer, make sure you clock above 145kmph and to a batsman who is bad at hooking the ball. For wrist-spinners, it hasn’t been a happy hunting venue. To cut it short, the pitch is a paradise for batsmen and they cannot ask for shorter boundaries.

The highest total at the venue is also the highest chased: 226 for 6. Make sure you pick your fantasy cricket teams using the player percentage and captain percentage selections to stay ahead in the race.

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Power players

Kagiso Rabada’s bowling figures read 2 for 28, 3 for 26, and 2 for 21. He has been throwing thunderbolts at the batsmen, bowling over 140 kmph. The ground dimensions, however, won’t matter to him. He has toe-crushing, confidence-denting yorkers in his armoury.

Many cricket purists were annoyed to see a batsman of Shubman Gill’s class play a finisher’s role. Kolkata seems to have paid heed to the suggestion, and the outcome has been as expected. Gill has scored the bulk of the runs for his team, including the highest scores of 70* and 47.

In the previous edition, Prithvi Shaw spanked his best score (99 off 55) in the Indian T20 League against Kolkata. It will be fascinating to watch him bat against Sunil Narine and Pat Cummins in the powerplay.

Andre Russell has not been the most popular player in fantasy cricket of late. He has not been fit enough to complete his four-over quota, but when he bats, he does not have to run hard. Given the overall conditions at Sharjah, he is likely to bat at No. 4 and use up as many balls as he wants to in order to hit sixes. If he can clear a colossal venue such as the MCG, Sharjah is a like box cricket venue for him. To add to the fire, he scored 62 off 28 and 45 off 21 against Delhi last season.

Talking about power-hitting, the player to watch out for will be Rishabh Pant. Kolkata will have to make sure they don’t pit their spinners against Pant, for he will slog-sweep them out of the park. He has scores of 31, 37*, and 28. A big innings is on the cards.

Smart picks

Both captains Shreyas Iyer and Dinesh Karthik are yet to give their best with the bat. However, it is vital to pick three of the top four batsmen in your fantasy teams, especially given the conditions. Keep an eye on the percentage selection while selecting one of these two.

Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti have been impressive, taking 6 wickets between them. Most fantasy players might prefer Nagarkoti, as he bats at No. 8 and has the ability to hit a few boundaries.

Axar Patel’s economy is mind-boggling. He has given away a mere 4.6 RPO, taking 2 wickets in 3 matches.

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Probable XIs

Delhi: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh  Pant (wk), Shreyas Iyer (c), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan

Kolkata: Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy

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