Kolkata Knight Riders take on Delhi Capitals, two teams which have been consistent and erratic in patches, but now have to get going in order to gain momentum to carry forward to this next phase of the tournament. Now there is a different context to the game, Sourav Ganguly is coming home, as a mentor of Delhi Capitals amidst murmurs of conflict of interest.
Delhi Capitals have grumbled about the surface in Kotla, and now they will find a far better surface at Eden Gardens and this is where it will test the mettle in the bowling lineups. The free-flowing stroke-makers of Delhi Capitals might enjoy the surface, and on the day, the side which holds their nerves better could well walk away with the match.
Predicted XI for both sides:
Kolkata Knight Riders: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Harry Gurney, Prasidh Krishna, Kuldeep Yadav
Delhi Capitals: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Colin Ingram, Chris Morris, Axar Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Kagiso Rabada, Ishant Sharma, Trent Boult/Sandeep Lamichanne
Fantasy tips and suggestions:
Wicket-keeper: Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant - two players who might battle it out for the second wicket-keeper spot for the World Cup. Both players are in form, but on a true surface in Kolkata, Rishabh Pant should get the nod in the match.
Batsmen: Prithvi Shaw has looked brilliant at the top of the order, he now needs to bat deep into the innings. Also, Shreyas Iyer should get a look in at the top of the order, so will Chris Lynn, who has found his form in the recent games.
Nitish Rana enjoys the surface at Eden Gardens and should be ripe for another big knock in this match against Delhi, against bowlers which suit his batting style.
All-rounders: Who else but Andre Russell? He has already played two match-winning innings at the Eden Gardens and now when KKR need to find momentum, Russell has to stand up and be counted.
Also, Chris Morris, who has not lived up to his billing this season, but now has to step up and be counted for Delhi, both with the bat and ball.
Spinners: Piyush Chawla gets the nod ahead of Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine, as more often than not he gets the wickets in the powerplay overs. Also, Sandeep Lamichhane of the Delhi Capitals should be included in the playing XI as he has been amongst the wickets.
Seamers: Trent Boult should be included in the Delhi Capitals and he might be quite a handful on the Eden Surface with his inward shape and movement. Also, Kagiso Rabada should be preferred over Harry Gurney as he can trouble the batsmen with his pace and hostility.