Delhi Capitals v Kolkata Knight Riders: Back Delhi and Dhawan to deliver

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan is looking to respond after a rare failure against RCB

KKR climbed off the bottom with a win over Punjab but Matt Harris is backing Delhi Capitals to bounce back after a narrow defeat to RCB on Tuesday...

"The Capitals have those team selection issues but there is good depth in the batting and that’s where it usually counts as far as T20 is concerned."

Delhi Capitals v Kolkata Knight Riders
Thursday, April 29th, 15:00 BST
Live on Sky Sports Cricket

Delhi Derailed

Delhi Capitals battled a sandstorm and a 75-run blast from AB De Villiers but they couldn't quite get over the early loss of Shikhar Dhawan on Tuesday. Late hitting from Shimron Hetmyer took them agonisingly close but the 1-run defeat to RCB saw the Capitals slip from second to third.

Rishabh Pant is a young, stand in skipper whose every decision will come under heavy scrutiny. Some calls, such as the decision to bowl Axar Patel in a Super Over will be considered as inspired. Meanwhile, it's fair to say that giving Marcus Stoinis the final over against RCB wasn't the captain's finest moment.

Delhi remain on course for the playoffs but the team selectors have some questions to answer, especially since Ravichandran Ashwin has left the competition. Stoinis may no longer be the most viable sixth bowling option and there could be a recall for Chris Woakes as a bowling all rounder. Steve Smith endured another evening to forget and the Capitals have Ajinkya Rahane and Sam Billings waiting to step in.

Kolkata clamber off the bottom

KKR climbed from eighth and last place into fifth on the back of Monday's win over Punjab. The five-wicket victory with 20 balls to spare might appear comfortable enough but, at 17/3 chasing just 124, it could have been another horror show for this struggling franchise.

An overdue contribution from skipper Eoin Morgan, together with 41 from Rahul Tripathi, got the Knight Riders home but there are big issues at the top of the order. Shubman Gill is in a desperate run of form while the promotion of Sunil Narine looks less effective with every knock.

The bowlers performed well against an admittedly poor Punjab batting unit but the selectors may well consider changes in that top order. Karun Nair is an option while the hard-hitting New Zealand wicket keeper Tim Seifert will be ready if KKR can free up an overseas slot.

Bedding in at Ahmedabad

Both sides make their second appearance of the season at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad and it's tough to identify any trends in those opening exchanges. Punjab Kings crawled to 123-9 in Monday's first match but theirs is a poor side who have made the three lowest team totals at IPL 14 to date.

RCB followed up with 171 from their 20 overs and that's more in keeping with the average first innings score across T20is at this ground. Delhi came within one run of chasing that target down and we shouldn't see the kind of turgid cricket produced in Chennai moving forward.

There should be no issues with the weather on a hot and humid evening so the team that wins the toss is likely to insert.

Delhi backed to capitalise

Kolkata have the momentum but the Capitals have the better overall record and it's no surprise to see Delhi leading the match betting at 1.768/11. KKR are the outside bet and can be claimed at 2.111/10.

The Capitals have those team selection issues but there is good depth in the batting and that's where it usually counts as far as T20 is concerned. With Shimron Hetmyer finding form and Shikhar Dhawan looking to respond after a cheap dismissal on Tuesday, I feel that Delhi will have too many runs for a struggling Knight Riders unit.

Shikhar to shine

Shikhar Dhawan made just six from seven balls against Bangalore but he remains 25 runs clear of KL Rahul in the race for the Orange Cap. The left hander is the type of player that will maintain a run of form for much of the tournament so I'm hoping that Tuesday's failure is just a blip.

Dhawan is listed at 11/4 on the sportsbook to top score for the Capitals against KKR and should be similar on the exchange when it starts to fill up. Other options include Prithvi Shaw at 10/3, Rishabh Pant at 7/2 and Shimron Hetmyer at a tempting 7/1 but Shikhar Dhawan is today's main pick.

Tripathi to lead the resistance

Shubman Gill will be lucky to keep his place even though he remains as joint favourite to top score for KKR on Tuesday. Using odds from the sportsbook, both Gill and Nitish Rana are available at 10/3 while the name that interests us is that of Rahul Tripathi at 7/2.

In a weak batting unit, Tripathi has been relatively consistent with 168 runs in six innings at IPL 14. If you don't want to follow the two favourites that I've picked out in the previous two sections, Tripathi offers some reasonable value.

I feel that Delhi will have too many runs for a struggling Knight Riders unit.

Matt Harris' IPL P/L

Staked: 14pts
Returns: 11.56pts
P/L: -2.44pts

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