IPL 2019: Russell's all-round brilliance in focus as Delhi prepare for Kolkata test

Ashish Peter 29/03/2019
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Russell is in red-hot form. Image credit - Sportzpics.

It will be a chance for Delhi Capitals to get back to winning ways in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) when they play host to Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday but the task for the home team will not be an easy one given the form their opponents have shown so far.

The renamed Delhi Capitals started off their campaign with an impressive 37-run victory over three-time champions Mumbai Indians but the early confidence gained from that win was shaken up a bit when Chennai Super Kings prevailed over them in a tense encounter.

Having finished with the wooden spoon last season, Delhi made some clever additions to their roster by roping in the experienced Shikhar Dhawan and Ishant Sharma. Both the veterans played their part in helping shepherd an already strong young Indian core towards a win over Mumbai and much more will be expected of them going forward in the campaign.

Ishant’s arrival has bolstered a more than formidable bowling unit being led by South Africa pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada and which includes the highly experienced veteran spinner Amit Mishra. Such have been Delhi’s problems of plenty in the bowling department that Nepal leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane has failed to get a single game so far while Kiwi stalwart Trent Boult had to miss out in the loss to Chennai.

DEATH OVER CONCERNS FOR DELHI

However, the primary worry for Delhi comes in the batting department where Prithvi Shaw and skipper Shreyas Iyer have failed to come to the party so far. While Dhawan has been a steadying figure in both matches and Rishabh Pant has played two explosive innings, Delhi still ran out of steam in the death overs against Chennai, throwing away a promising start.

From 120-2 at the 15th over mark, Delhi’s innings ultimately culminated at 147-6 with the defending champions turning the screws in the death-overs. That proved to be critical with Chennai clinching victory off the final over of the match with the shoddy batting at the death costing Delhi dear.

KKR RIDING ON RUSSELL’S INDIVIDUAL BRILLIANCE

One team who are not experiencing any death-overs’ woes are Kolkata with Dinesh Karthik’s men collecting more than 50 runs with the bat in the final three overs in each of their two wins so far.

West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell has been primarily responsible for the destruction Knight Riders have caused in the death overs with scores of 49 (19) and 48 (17). Russell’s impact has not been limited to just the bat with the 30-year-old also chipping in with four crucial wickets with the ball.

Russell has been the deciding factor for Kolkata in their two wins and keeping him quiet will be the major hurdle to cross for Delhi on Saturday.

Along with Russel’s brute power, Kolkata also have an excellent spin attack at their disposal which includes Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla. It is the form of Narine with the ball which will be a worry for Karthik with the West Indies man struggling with his economy-rates since coming back from an injury.

Narine did find form with the bat in the win over Kings XI Punjab but the displays of fellow opener Chris Lynn have been less than satisfactory. Old horses Robin Uthappa and Nitish Rana have been looking good for the two-time champions but currently Russell’s brilliance is masking several non-performing assets for the Knight Riders.

Karthik’s men cannot rely on Russell to bail them out on every occasion and other senior stars of the franchise will have to step up if their perfect record so far is to continue.

LIKELY XIs

Delhi Capitals: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Colin Ingram, Keemo Paul, Axar Patel, Trent Boult, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik (c and wk), Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna.

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IPL 2019 Fantasy: Top picks for Delhi Capitals v Kolkata Knight Riders

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Photo by: Ron Gaunt /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

The 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) season heads into match 10th with Delhi Capitals taking on Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday.

As fans, it’s not just watching the action that’s there to look forward to, but IPL fantasy games mean you have the opportunity to get involved as well.

As the IPL’s official partner, Dream11 runs a daily contest for each game apart from the default format which is conducted per round.

Here, we focus on helping you navigate your way through the former.

Without further adieu, here are our top options in each category for this encounter.

BATSMAN

Nitish Rana – KKR (8.5 credits)

With two fifties in his first two matches, Nitish Rana is proving to be a great fantasy asset. He opens the innings and has smashed 10 sixes on his way to racking up 131 runs. At a price of just 8.5, he gives you enough room to afford even the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Robin Uthappa without compromising elsewhere.

BOWLER

Kagiso Rabada – DC (9)

Young South African pacer Kagiso Rabada has shown great discipline in his opening two matches and perhaps deserves more than the three wickets he’s picked up. If he manages to keep things tight at an economy of 6.39 though, he’s bound to be rewarded sooner rather than later.

ALL-ROUNDER

Andre Russell – KKR (9.5) 

No doubt about this one. Andre Russell is proving to be an early candidate for Player of the Tournament. His two explosive innings so far have been spectacular and he averages 97 as a result. With a strike rate of 269.44, he’s certainly striking the ball cleanly. He’s impressive with the ball as well, taking four wickets at an average of 13.25 .

WICKETKEEPER

Rishabh Pant – DC (10)

Of course it’s Rishabh Pant behind the wickets. The Indian batsman has been in good form over the first two games, boasting an average of 103. He’s also picked up points with three catches and two stumpings. Delhi will need him to put runs on the board again against a high-scoring KKR side.

CAPTAIN – David Warner

VICE-CAPTAIN – Jos Buttler

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IPL 2019 Fantasy Round 2: Rishabh Pant and Delhi Capitals are top picks

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Rishabh Pant. Image: IPL/Twitter.

The first week of IPL 2019 is winding up and we have had had some sensational performances, close finishes and more than a couple of controversies.

The action has been equally intense on the Dream 11 Fantasy League – official partners of the IPL. With the second round set to get underway from Saturday, we are here with a few tips to help you make the best decision.

TOP TIP FOR ROUND 2

Delhi are in, go easy on Kolkata

The second round is such that Kolkata Knight Riders play only one game in this stretch while the Delhi Capitals feature as many as three times. It’s a no-brainer therefore to have more Delhi flavour in your fantasy team and keep your Kolkata exposure to the bare minimum, if at all.

BATSMEN

AB de Villiers (10.5 credits)

Royal Challengers Bangalore star AB de Villiers is starting to come into his own, taking his team to within one hit of a sensational win against Mumbai Indians. He has rarely had a poor IPL and the runs should continue to flow.

Ab De Villiers. Image: BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Ab De Villiers. Image: BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Virat Kohli (11.5cr)

After the no-ball controversy, expect Kohli to be fired up. He entered the league with questions raised about his captaincy. And now that Bangalore feel they were robbed of a win as the umpire failed to spot a no-ball off the final delivery of the game against Mumbai, Kohli is likely to double down.

Rohit Sharma (10.5 cr)

The Mumbai skipper was in fine nick against RCB and is almost certain to go big as the next two games are in Mohali and Mumbai – two good batting tracks.

As Mumbai have a habit of getting better as the tournament goes on, expect Rohit to be the same.

BOWLERS

Jasprit Bumrah (9.5cr)

There simply isn’t a better death bowler at the moment than the Mumbai Indians quick. His extraordinary death bowling – last three overs for just eight runs with ABD going great guns – against RCB set the stage for a thrilling win. As long as he is fit, you pick even a half-asleep Bumrah.

Bumrah

Bumrah

Kagiso Rabada (8.5cr)

Delhi play three matches so it’s imperative to have the South African quick. Not only has he been among the wickets, his economy of 6.3 has been exemplary. Can be as good as Bumrah at the death on his day.

Yuzvendra Chahal (8.5cr)

The leg-spinner is in his elements in the T20 league, staying among the wickets and keeping the scoring down. The Bangalore leggie should be on a high, with five scalps from two games and a maiden under his belt.

WICKETKEEPERS

Rishabh Pant (9.5 cr)

The Delhi keeper batsman is the man of the moment. He seems in the mood for some serious damage and with Delhi playing three times in round two, should fetch a truckload of fantasy points. His gloves should be an added bonus, especially if used as captain or vice captain.

Jos Buttler (10 cr)

Ravi Ashwin ran Jos Buttler out in Jaipur. Image: BCCI/SPORTZPICS

Ravi Ashwin ran Jos Buttler out in Jaipur. Image: BCCI/SPORTZPICS

The Rajasthan Royals star batsman must be still smarting from the Ravi Ashwin run-out. He is looking in sensational touch and should fetch enough points with the bat and behind the stumps. Cash in while he is still in India.

ALL-ROUNDERS

Axar Patel (8 cr)

The Delhi left-arm spinner is a nifty player who can bowl some quiet overs, pick up a wicket or two and hit some long balls lower down the order. Over three matches, he is almost certain to come good twice in either of the disciplines.

Andre Russell (10 cr)

Yes, Kolkata play just one game this period. But such is Russell’s form that he is almost certain to pick up wickets and smash boundaries, maybe even pick up a catch or two. One regular Russell day will be a goldmine of fantasy points.

CAPTAIN: Rishabh Pant

VICE-CAPTAIN: AB de Villiers

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