It is the crunch time for the Delhi Capitals and the Kolkata Knight Riders. A slip here, and the fall can be steep.
The Indian Premier League 2022 clash at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday will be a face-off between two wounded predators.
Both the teams have three wins each. KKR, with eight matches, has played a game more. And both teams find themselves at the table’s bottom half.
With Prithvi Shaw, David Warner, Rishabh Pant and Rovman Powell, DC has the batting firepower. It remains to be seen if the franchise has recovered mentally from the bust-up at the end of their clash against Rajasthan Royals with all that acrimony over a possible ‘no ball’ for height.
DC has a useful pace pack with Khaleel Ahmed, Shardul Thakur and Mustafizur Rahman complementing each other. And the steady Axar Patel and the rejuvenated Kuldeep Yadav can derail sides with contrasting spin.
KKR has still not figured out its best opening combination and which is the right slot for last year’s sensation, Venkatesh Iyer.
And ‘mystery’ spinner Varun Chakravarthy – who hardly plays for the state in domestic cricket these days with IPL being his livelihood – is being carted around the park.
Andre Russell still packs a punch with the bat and the ball, Sunil Narine continues to be a miserly wicket-taker, and the wily Tim Southee, a better bowling option than Pat Cummins, can still nick batters out.
On the wearing Wankhede pitches of inconsistent bounce, the side that seizes opportunities will win.