The Knight Riders went into the game with an unchanged XI
Toss Delhi Capitals chose to bowl vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Rishabh Pant won the toss and the Delhi Capitals chose to bowl first against the Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 25 of IPL 2021. Eoin Morgan, the Knight Riders captain, said he would have bowled first as well at the Motera in Ahmedabad.
The Capitals have made one change, with Amit Mishra missing out due to a shoulder niggle. Offspinning allrounder Lalit Yadav gets another go in Mishra’s place. The Knight Riders have stuck to the same XI, which Morgan said felt like their best XI on paper and therefore didn’t require any changes.
Victory for the Capitals will lift them to 10 points, level with the Chennai Super Kings and the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the top of the table, but likely behind them on net run rate. For the Knight Riders, a win will help them keep up in a mid-table scramble.
While the Capitals are better placed overall, they come into this game on the back of a heart-breaking one-run defeat to the Royal Challengers. Conversely, the Knight Riders will be buoyed by their previous result, a convincing five-wicket win against the Punjab Kings. Both matches took place at the Motera in Ahmedabad, the venue for this game.
“I think second innings there might be dew,” Pant said of his decision to bowl. “Last game we played, we thought dew might come in but it didn’t come. In these type of matches [the one-run loss in the previous game] you can only take the positives. If you lose by one run, [later] if you find yourself in the same stage, you have to take the opportunity.”
Morgan lauded his bowling unit, and hoped they could continue the good work. “We would have liked to chase, it’s the trend in T20 cricket,” Morgan said. “Results on this ground have worked out both ways but ultimately we have to play well. [The bowlers] have been outstanding, particularly in the last game. Hopefully we can build on that. Nice to get some runs under my belt, albeit a small contribution.”
Morgan had anchored the Knight Riders’ chase in their last game with 47* off 40, signalling a return to runs after a tepid start to the tournament.
Delhi Capitals: 1 Prithvi Shaw, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Steven Smith, 4 Rishabh Pant (capt, wk), 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Shimron Hetmyer, 7 Lalit Yadav, 8 Axar Patel, 9 Kagiso Rabada, 10 Avesh Khan, 11 Ishant Sharma
Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Nitish Rana, 3 Rahul Tripathi, 4 Sunil Narine, 5 Eoin Morgan (capt), 6 Andre Russell, 7 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Shivam Mavi, 10 Varun Chakravarthy, 11 Prasidh Krishna
Saurabh Somani is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo