So you are Delhi Daredevils. No, capitals. Sorry. And you are facing Kolkata Knight Riders. oh dear.
Aren’t you a team built on your two best hitters and a mid-range flare? But you’re going to take on a team with wicket takers up front, misers in the middle and whatever Pat Cummins. Reports suggest he could be the emissary of an alien superspecies sent to distract us with his dreaminess. #True story.
Shreyas Iyer once held the keys to the kingdom of Delhi. Then it was taken away. And now he’s back, only he’s captain from the other side. Thanks to the hard rut he went through in domestic cricket with arguably the most ruthless team in the entire country, he has become one of those people who can read where a game is going before it gets there. There have always been such players. MS Dhoni for example. But he never had a bowling attack like Knight Riders. A bowling attack that allows a captain like Shreyas to rewrite the cricket destiny.
The game has always made room for individual genius, and in Rishabh Pant, Prithvi Shaw, David Warner and Rovman Powell, the Capitals have no shortage of this precious resource. The question is, can one man stop a string of champions?
In the news
Pat CumminsDNA has undergone extensive analysis and in a barely believable twist, it appears that he is actually 100% human. Guys, he’s just like us. Besides, he punches like Viv Richards, bowls like Michael Holding, and looks like Tom Cruise.
Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Venkatesh Iyer, 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Shreyas Iyer (capt), 4 Sam Billings (wk), 5 Nitish Rana, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Pat Cummins, 8 Sunil Narine, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Rasikh Salam, 11 Varun Chakravarthy
Capitals Of Delhi: 1 David Warner, 2 Prithvi Shaw, 3 Sarfaraz Khan, 4 Rishabh Pant (capt & wk), 5 Lalit Yadav, 6 Rovman Powell, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Anrich Nortje, 11 Mustafizur Rahman
Grudge match stories only really work in the movies, still Capitals wouldn’t mind seeing the back of Shreyas soon and a fairly straightforward option is available. Since IPL 2021, the Knight Riders captain has averaged 19.5, batting at 93 and taking about 28 balls between boundaries while facing spin bowling. The only problem is that he knocks out Kuldeep Yadav (32 of 24 balls, no layoffs) and Axar Patel (24 of 15 balls, one layoff). So, umm, throw the ball to Lalit Yadav and hope for the best?
Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo