While KKR have lost only one of their four matches so far, DC managed to win just one after playing three. It must be heartening for the DC team management to see Prithvi Shaw getting runs in the last match against Lucknow Super Giants. Against a man-inform Umesh Yadav, who is regularly providing KKR early breakthroughs, the team will look for another good start from the 2018 U-19 World Cup-winning captain Shaw who got 479 runs in 15 matches in last IPL.
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DC skipper Rishabh Pant pointed out rightly that the team has failed to carry on the momentum. Chasing 172 against Gujarat Titans, the Capitals fell to 34 for 3 inside five overs. In their opening game against Mumbai Indians as well, they lost three wickets inside the Powerplay.
“In the last two-three matches, we are seeing a pattern, we need to work not to lose wickets in a bunch and play less dot balls in the middle overs,” Pant had pointed out. But it will be easier said than done given the fact that KKR’s two spinners Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine have been consistently chocking the opposition in the middle overs.
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DC will be happy if Mitchell Marsh recovers well to make the playing XI as West Indian Rovman Powell has failed miserably to get going managing just 23 runs in three games. Perhaps DC can pay heed to former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith’s suggestion too. “Maybe the way forward is to get him (Pant) to No. 3 and relieve some of the pressure by giving him more time,” Smith felt.
Coach Ricky Ponting will hope David Warner and Anrich Nortje will get into the rhythm fast after they both looked rusty in their opening game for the franchise.
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It will be a challenge for the DC bowling unit to stop the KKR power-hitters too. Teams so long planning to stop Andre Russell, must now get their act right for Pat Cummins too after the Aussie all-rounder announced his arrival in this IPL with an incredible show with the bat.
It is the performance of the KKR top order that perhaps remains the side’s only weak point. Nitish Rana, who top-scored for them in the last IPL with 383 runs in 17 matches, has looked a pale shadow of the past this time and much more is expected from Venkatesh Iyer, the star of the second half of IPL 2021 with 370 runs in 10 matches. Skipper Shreyas may also get an extra motivation to shine against the side whom he took to their maiden final in 2020.
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