Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
Time: 7:30 PM IST
Average score at venue: 163
Win percentage while batting first: 33.33%
- The batsmen from both the teams, Delhi and Kolkata, will be under pressure to garner runs on this surface which has been a challenge in this tournament. In the Qualifier 1, Team Bangalore got off to a flier but could not go past 140-run mark and ended up losing the contest in a tense finish.
- The newly-laid pitch at the Sharjah Cricket Ground has provided a lot of assistance to the spin bowlers even though they have not been able to take wickets in heaps. Kolkata will certainly bank on the experience and performance shown by Sunil Narine against Bangalore in Qualifier 1
- Fast bowlers have taken 69.13% of wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Ground, which is far more impressive than the spin bowlers who have grabbed 30.87% of the dismissals.
It will be a bright and sunny day once again in Sharjah with temperature hitting a high of 37°C around 1 o’clock in the afternoon. However, the temperature will steadily drop down to 32°C in the evening after the sunset, whereas players will also witness humidity levels rising to more than 50%.
Matches played: 28
Delhi won: 12
Kolkata won: 15
No result: 1
Last 5 matches:
Delhi won: 3
Kolkata won: 2
No result: –
Top 3 players from Delhi: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant
Top 3 players from Kolkata: Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, Shubman Gill
Top picks for H2H/WTA contest (top 5 players each):
Top 5 players from Delhi: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Akshar Patel, Shimron Hetmyer
Top 5 players from Kolkata: Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Shubman Gill
Should I pick more bowlers, batsmen or all-rounders?
It is very important to take note of the surface on which Delhi and Kolkata are going to play Qualifier 2 of the Indian T20 League 2021. This will be the second chance for Delhi to make it to the final of the Indian T20 League, having lost to a dominant team in Chennai in Qualifier 1. On the other hand, Kolkata will be high on confidence following their commanding performance against Bangalore in all departments which has put them in a pole position of sorts. While Delhi have the promise, it is Kolkata who are looking extremely dangerous as well as unpredictable given that the team is proving to be full of match-winners, barring their captain Eoin Morgan who has been in an urgent need of runs. It will be wise to add more to the batting strength for this match.
From which team should I pick more players in my XI? Which team is stronger?
At this stage of the Indian T20 League, it certainly does not matter which team is stronger. After a gruelling round of as many as 56 matches in which teams played against each other twice, all that is left in the tournament are the three best and strongest teams who can each win in commanding manners on any given day. While Chennai and Delhi have been the top teams in the Indian T20 League 2021 right from the start, Kolkata have done more than enough to prove that they are deserving and worthy challengers for a place in the final. While Delhi have plenty of players who can turnaround matches in quick time, Kolkata just know how to fight back under the inspired leadership of Morgan.
MORE INFORMATION: Both Delhi and Kolkata will back themselves to chase whatever target is set for them in Sharjah. At this venue, 5 out of 7 matches have been won by teams who were batting second and that is one factor which both Kolkata and Delhi will keep in mind going into this contest. Kolkata certainly will feel extremely confident given their dominant all-round performance against Bangalore on Monday night, something that should make the Delhi think-tank relook at their plans. Kolkata not only have their batsmen firing on all cylinders, a surprise all-round package that Sunil Narine turned out to be against Bangalore would certainly give any opposition more work to do. Delhi will certainly draw their lessons and a lot of inspiration from their ordinary performance against Chennai in the first match of this knockout round, and with this contest against Kolkata being a do-or-die game, the last year’s finalists would not want to leave any stone unturned in their practice or in effort on the field.
Players’ form: In the Qualifier 1 against Chennai, Delhi certainly missed runs from their top order batsmen such as Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer who have contributed handsomely to their success in the Indian T20 League season. On the other hand, Kolkata will be mighty pleased with the fact that they have as many players in form as the other two teams that are left in the tournament — something that will help them pose a serious threat and challenge even though they were the last team to have finished in the knockouts round. Still, there are some concerns in both Delhi and Kolkata camps. The form of international stars in Morgan and Ravichandran Ashwin will certainly give headaches to their respective teams, with Delhi particularly struggling over the fitness and availability of Australian all-rounder Marcus Stoinis.
Changes in squad (if any): NO
Team Delhi: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant (c&wk), Shreyas Iyer, Shimron Hetmyer, Akshar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Marcus Stoinis/Tom Curran, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan
Team Kolkata: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy
FANTASY XI: Prithvi Shaw (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vc&wk), Rahul Tripathi, Akshar Patel, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy, Anrich Nortje, Lockie Ferguson
Delhi look to bring out their best against rampant Kolkata
Delhi will be the team under pressure when they take on Kolkata in what will be a knockout contest in Qualifier 2 between the two teams, to be played at the tricky venue of Sharjah Cricket Ground on Wednesday evening. The winner of this contest will advance to the final to take on Chennai in the summit clash, whereas the losing side will be left to rue their mistakes and misfortune.
Kolkata are certainly the favourites for this contest given that they are the team in form, irrespective of the fact that they finished fourth in the IPL 2021 points table. Kolkata were involved in an intense mid-table battle between several teams such as Mumbai, Punjab and even Rajasthan but the Morgan-led side made it to the final four on the basis of better Net Run Rate (NRR).
While NRR came to Kolkata’s benefit in the final cut-off point, there is no denying the fact that they are a team on a roll and red-hot favourites to make it to the final of this year’s Indian T20 League. Kolkata have won 4 out of their last 5 matches, one that also includes a 3-wicket victory over Delhi in the Match No 41 of the tournament.
On the other hand, Delhi, who lost in a comprehensive manner of 4 wickets at the hands of Chennai in Qualifier 1, have won only 3 out of the last 5 matches and the couple of defeats also includes 1 against Kolkata. Delhi are certainly grappling with more issues compared to Kolkata at this point, but come match day on Wednesday, both the teams will be fined up to produce their best performance.
Delhi will know that a lot rides on their batting troika of Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer. Against Chennai, it was only Shaw who produced runs and Delhi know that they will need more from their batsmen in order to challenge Kolkata, who have one each of their matches played in the UAE this year while chasing.
Kolkata have a strong batting line-up which has been posted with the exploits of West Indies veteran Sunil Narine, even though their captain Morgan has not been able to deliver runs at all. Dinesh Karthik remains a vital cog in the lineup, and so does Shakib Al Hasan on a slow and turning Sharjah which in the absence of Andre Russell.