Deadline: April 29, 7:30 PM IST
Delhi is one of the favourites to lift the title but have been time and again exposing their vulnerabilities. Kolkata have not been doing well but are finally finding their feet. That being said, the pitch at Ahmedabad suits the bowling styles of both teams and the result of the match relies heavily on how their batsmen perform.
Delhi: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Steven Smith, Rishabh Pant (c & wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan, Ishant Sharma
Kolkata: Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna
We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on recent performances, impact, and credit points.
Battle of openers
Delhi’s success largely depends on their openers Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw. One is an experienced warhorse, while the other is a raw talent always waiting to break free. If both fall early, Steven Smith has enough experience to hold the fort.
Shivam Mavi finished with figures of 4-0-13-1. He bowled three overs in the powerplay against the likes of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. He was so good that the reliable Rahul lost his cool and was forced to play a false stroke. All he did was attack his defence, never giving enough room. Pat Cummins followed suit, and Punjab were 37 for 1 after 6 overs.
Dhawan and Shaw have faced better bowling attacks, but they will be up against the pace duo who have deciphered the code to succeed at Ahmedabad. Who emerges triumphant, is a question only time can tell.
Amit Mishra has, for the lack of a better word, re-emerged. He has the most number of hat-tricks in the tournament, and is looking better than ever.
On the other hand, Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine have been difficult to deal with in the middle overs. Mystery spin from both ends can be painful, especially when the pitch assists them.
Given the ground’s dimension, it will be a rather agonising task to gather sixes off spinners. The batsmen will have to give their all.
Avesh Khan and Prasidh Krishna have a knack for taking wickets. Both try to take wickets rather than keep the runs flow in check. If anything, they are a fantasy player’s delight.
Breathtaking innings from AB de Villiers and Shimron Hetmyer suggest that the pitch is a featherbed for the batsmen. It indeed is, especially if you bowl short. For that matter, even Chris Jordan managed to hit 3 sixes, but all of them were pitched short. In fact, most wickets fell to the deliveries that were pitched in the line of stumps. Attacking the body would be an ideal strategy for both pacers and spinners. Anything away from the body is easier to dispatch into the stadium, albeit the boundaries are long.
Batting second has been easier at the venue. In case a captain is forced to bat first, his team will have to launch an onslaught right away and set up a target of 180. As a matter of fact, Delhi wouldn’t mind if they lose the toss. Their batsmen are in top-notch form. It is Kolkata who have to punch well above their weight. Nitish Rana hasn’t clicked in the last three matches and Shubman Gill has been out of sorts. For Kolkata to win, they will have to score runs collectively, and most importantly, enough.