7 meets 10 at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi on Thursday as bottom-placed Delhi Capitals host Kolkata Knight Riders in the night game of the first mid-week double-header of the season. While the Capitals, who have lost five in a row, will be desperately hoping to open their account, Knight Riders themselves will be keen to get back to winning ways, having lost two in a row. With six teams already on six points or more, KKR can ill-afford to lose another game and fall behind.
Two games have so far been played at the Arun Jaitley Stadium and it’s proven to be a moderately high-scoring venue, with the team batting first posting scores of 172 and 162 respectively. But the scores have to be taken with a pinch of salt as it was the out-of-confidence DC side that batted first on both occasions. The chasing sides won both times!
So far, the Arun Jaitley Stadium has proven to be a mixed bag for the seamers. They’ve picked up nearly 71% of the wickets but their economy has been on the higher side, 9.1 rpo.
In contrast, the spinners have taken only 29.2% of the wickets (7 wickets in total) but have been economical, going at just 7.2 runs per over.
This should interest the Knight Riders, who have three quality spinners in their XI.
While you could go for the above team, you can choose your team from Cricket.com's Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
For small leagues: Venkatesh Iyer (capt), Sunil Narine (vice-capt)
For grand leagues: Kuldeep Yadav (capt), David Warner (vice-capt)
Stats that matter
> KKR have always struggled against high pace, and Nortje unsurprisingly has an excellent record against them, having taken 8 wickets in 4 innings at an average of 13.3 and ER of 7.4.
> Coming fresh off a ton, Venky Iyer is in the form of his life. As things stand, he’s the second-highest run-getter in the competition with 234 runs, and across his last 3 innings he has amassed 197 runs at a SR of 193.1. He could be the key to solving the Nortje puzzle: this season, against deliveries quicker than 140 kph, Iyer has struck at 200. Against good length, back of a length and short deliveries, he has struck 111 runs at an average of 55.5 and SR of 173.4.
> Manish Pandey has been in fine form in T20s since the start of the last SMAT season, having scored 323 runs in his last 10 innings at an average of 46.14. Against RCB, he top-scored for Delhi with a 38-ball fifty. In his last two H2H matches against Kolkata, the ex-KKR man has also struck two fifties. Additionally, Pandey has a good record at the Arun Jaitley Stadium, having averaged 35.6 across 12 T20 innings.
> Kuldeep Yadav has played his former side KKR two times (both last season) in the IPL and has astonishingly picked up 8 wickets at an average of 6.1. In the previous H2H meeting, he took 4/14 off 3 overs and bowled DC to victory. Fancy him to do serious damage against a KKR side who, at the time of writing this, have the second-worst average against spin (19.1) this season.
Grand League Punts
> KKR and DC have been the two worst batting sides against spin this season. Load your fantasy XI with spinners. Do not hesitate to make Kuldeep the captain or vice-captain - his stunning record against DC warrants the same.
> Warner’s strike rate might be on the lower side but pick him in the side anyway. He will guarantee runs. The same goes for Manish Pandey, who is a must-have in this fixture.
Top Criclytics Projections
DC: David Warner (c), Mitchell Marsh, Yash Dhull, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Aman Hakim Khan, Lalit Yadav, Abishek Porel (wk), Kuldeep Yadav, Anrich Nortje, Mustafizur Rahman
KKR: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, N Jagadeesan, Nitish Rana (c), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, Lockie Ferguson / Tim Southee, Varun Chakaravarthy