Delhi Capitals (DC) will meet Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for a place in the final of the 2021 Indian Premier League at Sharjah on Wednesday. The side will be aiming to recover from a harsh four-wicket defeat to the Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1, where Ruturaj Gaikwad, Robin Uthappa, and MS Dhoni starred in CSK's run-chase.
The Capitals made a surprise inclusion, bringing in Tom Curran in their game against CSK. Curran hadn't played in the UAE leg before his appearance in the playoff game as he replaced Ripal Patel in the lineup.
However, ahead of their all-important game against KKR, DC would be tempting to go with their veteran spinner Amit Mishra.
Amit Mishra - the missing piece in the puzzle?
Like Curran before the previous game, Mishra hasn't appeared for the Delhi Capitals in the UAE leg as well. While his lack of game time may go against his selection, Mishra could prove key for the DC against KKR.
|In IPL (overall)||154||166|
|In IPL 2021||4||6|
In Sharjah, Mishra could be lethal with the pitch assisting spin. The leg-spinner, who has picked 6 wickets in four IPL matches this season (including 4/24 against RCB), may turn out to be a surprise weapon for the side.
Going spin heavy?
Alternatively, the Delhi Capitals could go with three spinners (Axar Patel, Ashwin and Mishra) and exploit the Sharjah pitch. Even as the Knight Riders' lineup majorly comprises of left-handers, Mishra's ability to deceive the batsmen with slower delivery could work in his favor.
Mishra could replace Tom Curran, who had a disappointing last over against the Chennai Super Kings in their previous game. With three spinners, the DC could match KKR's spin-heavy lineup of Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine and Shakib Al Hasan.
Mishra replacing Ashwin?
Ravichandran Ashwin has struggled with form over the past few games for the Delhi Capitals. He has picked only two wickets in the last four games for the DC, conceding 91 runs in 11 overs.
Moreover, Ashwin's record against KKR's power-hitting batsmen doesn't inspire confidence.
|Against Sunil Narine||60||285.71||0|
|Against Nitish Rana||74||211.42||0|
Sunil Narine, who was the man of the match for KKR during their previous game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), has an excellent record against Ashwin. He has scored 60 runs against the off-spinner with a brilliant strike rate of 285.71.
Similarly, Nitish Rana, who bats at no.3 against Ashwin, has scored against him at a strike rate of 211.42. Dinesh Karthik has scored 75 runs in 57 deliveries against Ashwin as well, being dismissed only once.