IPL 2020: Be Ready For Fireworks As KKR Clashes With Delhi Capitals At Sharjah
After months of uncertainty because of the COVID-19 pandemic, IPL 2020 finally moved over to UAE and kickstarted September 19. Despite empty stadiums and strict restrictions imposed, the tournament is powering through with edge-of-the-seat matches, true to its promise. The upcoming weekend will see the first double-header of this year.
In an epic battle for the top position, #2 ranked Delhi Capitals will head to head with #3 ranked Kolkata Knight Riders at Sharjah Cricket Ground on Saturday, October 3. This will be the first match at Sharjah for both the teams. DC is coming off their first loss of the season, while KKR will be riding on the back of two consecutive wins.
KKR’s Journey In IPL 2020 So Far
KKR is once again one of the most balanced sides of the tournament. They have hard-hitters towards the top of the batting line up and reliable names down the order. But the young Indian players of the team have stand out through and proved their mettle in both the previous wins.
KKR started on a losing note by falling short of 49 runs against Mumbai Indians, but they have picked up the pace well with two back-to-back victories over Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals. KKR would certainly be the more confident of the two teams, now that their ever-supportive owner Shahrukh Khan has also shown up on their last match.
Players That Can Change The Game
Like every year, KKR has again successfully scaled up a few youngsters who bring the matches home for the team. Initially it seemed like the team’s bowling department would be largely dependent on overseas player Pat Cummins.
Now, the newbies like Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, and Varun Chakravarthi has stepped up to the occasion. All three took 2 wickets each in their win over RR in the last match, while Shubman Gill chipped in with a 47 off 34.
Gill scored a ravishing 70* in the match before, well supported by Nitish Rana. Sunil Narine seems to have lost the surprise edge that he was once known for but still holds the potential to turn a match around any day.
Andre Russell and Eoin Morgan are also in a fine form. Skipper Dinesh Karthik has come through with near-perfect captaincy so far in this season, as well as a dependable bat lower down the order.
DC’s Journey In IPL 2020 So Far
Delhi Capitals had an excellent run in the tournament with two consecutive wins over Kings XI Punjab and Chennai Super Kings. The first one was a close call as the match went into Super Over, but DC emerged victorious with 4 balls to spare. The second win against CSK was a comfortable one with a big margin of 44 runs.
The slip-up against SRH made DC lose their top spot in the table, and they would be desperate to win the place back with a win against KKR on Saturday. The team’s middle-order is still looking a bit shaky, which can be a cause of concern for the fans.
Players That Can Change The Game
Marcus Stoinis knocked a good half-century in the first match and took two wickets as well. Prithvi Shaw shone in the match against CSK with a 64 off 43. DC still needs to figure out their batting order if they want to keep winning matches. But the bowling department of the team has been doing brilliantly.
Kagiso Rabada has proven to be dependent on the ball, picking up three wickets in the match. Anrich Nortje has been excellent as well, and the addition of veteran Indian bowler Ishant Sharma is likely to strengthen the bowling attack even further.
The Venue, Pitch, and Verdict
Tomorrow’s match is likely to be a close contest, with both teams fighting for the table’s top spot. They both have one loss and two wins each, but DC betters KKR in terms of run rate. The odds are slightly heavier on KKR’s side, with a few players on their side who can turn a match around any time.
Sharjah is expected to have a clear sky up ahead and around 63% humidity in the air. Temperature is likely to stay around 30°C-32°C. The pitch has previously worked in favor of the batsman, so one can expect the match to be a high scoring one.