Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Capitals, Abu Dhabi

Pro Tip: Expect Kagiso Rabada to get amongst the wickets yet again against a struggling Knight Riders' batting line-up, and Shikhar Dhawan to continue from where he left off.

Our XI: Shubman Gill, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Eoin Morgan, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Pat Cummins, Anrich Nortje, Lockie Ferguson.

Substitutes: Prithvi Shaw, Sunil Narine, Dinesh Karthik, Tom Banton

Player availability: Sunil Narine and Andre Russell are likely to miss this game because of injuries. All other players are available for selection.

NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.

Captain: Kagiso Rabada

Rabada, the Purple Cap holder, has picked up 21 wickets at an economy of 7.58 and a strike rate of 11.3. This season, he has picked up a wicket every 6.4 balls at the death and one every nine balls in the middle overs. Against a batting line-up that is low on confidence, Rabada could create chaos.

Vice-captain: Shikhar Dhawan

Dhawan has sprung into life with two fifties and hundreds each in his last four innings while aggregating 333 runs at a strike rate of 163.24. He should enjoy batting in Abu Dhabi, with the pitch having true pace and bounce. Dhawan now has nine scores of fifty or more since 2019 in the IPL, only behind KL Rahul and David Warner.

Hot Picks

Shreyas Iyer: The Capitals' captain has crossed 50 only twice this season, but has been relatively consistent. His highest score of 88 not out in the tournament also came against the Knight Riders, and since 2018, Iyer averages 74 in five innings against them at a strike rate of 196.63.

Eoin Morgan: Morgan has done better than most of the Knight Riders batsmen. He now has 278 runs at a strike rate of 125.79. Morgan has a boundary percentage of 58.27, suggesting he could get more points than someone who scores a similar number of runs without as many big hits.

R Ashwin: Ashwin has kept it tight and picked up crucial wickets at the right time. He has been used in the powerplay often and has responded well: six wickets - most by a spinner in that phase this tournament - at an economy of 6.25 and a strike rate of 8. Ashwin's overall economy this season has also been an excellent 7.11.

Differential Picks

Axar Patel: Patel has bowled the tough overs and picked up eight wickets at an economy of 5.74. Among all bowlers who have bowled 150 or more balls in the tournament, Patel has the third best economy. Moreover, he can contribute with the bat in the lower order.

Lockie Ferguson: Ferguson has made a tremendous impact in the two games he has played so far. He has picked up four wickets at an economy of just four runs an over. Ferguson is an out and out wicket-taker and could make the difference in your XI.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Narine is likely to miss this game but in case he plays, in all probability he will replace Tom Banton in the Knight Riders' playing XI. If that happens, you can replace Pat Cummins with Narine.

  • If the Capitals bat first, Dhawan could get a chance to face more deliveries, thus increasing his chances of scoring more runs. Hence, make him your captain and Rabada your vice-captain.

  • Iyer is also a vice-captain choice given his record against the Knight Riders, whose average first innings score this season is only 150. So if the Knight Riders bat second, choose Iyer as your vice-captain.