DC vs KKR in IPL 2021: Kolkata Knight Riders’ struggling batting will once again be put to test when Eoin Morgan army takes on star-studded Delhi Capitals in a bid to get the derailing campaign back on track. The first challenge Morgan faces is to find a way to get the top-order start firing again. With both Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana finding it tough to play big knocks in the powerplay, will the KKR skipper try a new opening combination with Sunil Narine back as opener?
DC vs KKR in IPL 2021: Will Morgan replace Shubman Gill as opener?
KKR’s batting woes emanate right from the top with the highly talented Gill in really bad form. The youngster has scored just 89 runs in six outings. Not only this but normally fluent Gill is also struggling with his strike rate during the powerplay, which eventually mounts pressure on KKR’s middle-order.
Rana, who had a great outing in the initial two matches with two half-centuries, has also been quiet in his last four innings. His best in the last four matches is 22 against Rajasthan Royals in KKR’s match three of the season.
With the opening pair struggling, it is only right for Morgan to look beyond their usual No.1 and 2. Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar suggested that the KKR think tank can bring Narine back as their first-choice opener.
DC vs KKR in IPL 2021: Who can open with Sunil Narine?
Before IPL 2021, Narine has been one of the mainstays of KKR’s bowling department. But it is his exploits with the bat that have come to the fore of late more than his bowling. He started opening in 2017 and has given KKR blazing starts early in the innings. Barring the IPL 2020, and 19 seasons, the Windies all-rounder has been one of the highest run-getter for Kolkata.
Gavaskar believes that bringing Narine back to the top will solve KKR’s low-scoring problem in the powerplay. The legendary batsman suggested that Morgan can try bringing Rahul Tripathi as No.2, moving Rana at 3, followed by Gill.
I think KKR have to make up their minds whether Sunil Narine opens the batting with Shubman Gill or Rahul Tripathi opens the batting. With Shubman Gill also – struggling and not quite there; maybe there is a case for Tripathi to open with Sunil Narine.
“Nitish Rana, in the years that he has been very successful for KKR, he has been batting at No.3. So, if Rahul Tripathi can open the batting, which he used to do earlier on for the other franchises, maybe that’s the way to go for him,” Gavaskar said.
DC vs KKR in IPL 2021: Has Shubman Gill played in middle-order before?
- During his initial years for KKR, Gill played as KKR’s middle-order batsman.
- In 2018, playing as No.5 and 6, according to the situation, the youngster scored 203 runs in 13 games at a strike rate of 146. It is way more than his strike rate in last two seasons.
- If Gill is moved to middle-order, it will balance KKR’s batting line-up and also give them a much-needed batting depth.
DC vs KKR in IPL 2021: What will be KKR Playing? (Probable)
Sunil Narine, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi, Prasidh Krishna