IPL 2019: Russell-Rabada battle on the cards as KKR faces Delhi Capitals

With Cricket Association of Bengal president Sourav Ganguly sitting in the DC dugout, the touring team will be encouraged to beat KKR and its partisan crowd at the Eden.

Ricky Ponting discusses a point with Delhi Capitals captain, Shreyas Iyer, in Kolkata on Thursday.   -  PTI

Andre Russell’s extra-terrestrial effort with the bat may have propelled Kolkata Knight Riders to three out of its four wins in the Indian Premier League so far, but the two-time champion will be keen to use its untapped resources in its forthcoming matches.

The burly Caribbean has grown in stature because of his explosive batting. Russell has emerged as the highest run-getter for his side and has hit maximum sixes (25), most runs in an over (27) and is the only one to have a 200-plus strike rate (212.39).

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The 30–year-old's fiery performances have dwarfed efforts of other KKR batters such as Nitish Rana, Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa and Karthik. The team is yet to derive the best out of Shubman Gill though.

Showcasing his all-round abilities, Russell has picked up five wickets, the maximum by a KKR bowler.

As the second-placed KKR, which lost its last match to Chennai Super Kings due to batting failure, returns home to meet Delhi Capitals at the Eden Gardens here on Friday, it will hope that the West Indian, nursing an injury, remains available for the important tussle.

KKR’s biggest concern will be the below-par showing of its bowlers, who have taken only 21 wickets in six outings. The spin trio of Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine as well as the pacers have not made much of an impact.

Since the Super Over finish in Delhi between the two sides went in favour of DC, thanks to Kagiso Rabada's immaculate yorkers, the clash at the Eden will be a keenly watched affair.

Packed with fine batsmen like Prithvi Shaw, Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer, DC will look forward to post another tall total.

DC coach Ricky Ponting said in case the pitch wore a tinge of green, then the pace quartet of Rabada (the most successful bowler with 11 scalps), Chris Morris, Trent Boult and Ishant Sharma might get preference.

With Cricket Association of Bengal president Sourav Ganguly sitting in the DC dugout, the touring team will be encouraged to beat KKR and its partisan crowd at the Eden.