The Delhi Capitals franchise has been a heavyweight team in the recent past in the Indian Premier League (IPL), qualifying for the playoffs in the last three editions. However, in the current season, they have secured just a solitary win in their first three games.
In their first two matches, the franchise lacked the availability of some of their key foreign players. But, despite having David Warner and Anrich Nortje against Lucknow Super Giants, the Capitals lost the match while defending. At present, they stand seventh in the points table.
3 changes that DC need to make for their next game against KKR
1. Anrich Nortje replacing Shardul Thakur as the second pacer in the power play
Unfortunately, DC’s chief bowling spearhead Anrich Nortje wasn’t available for the first two games. The SA pacer was unfit and hence lacked game time before joining the squad. In his absence, Delhi have produced mediocre bowling performances in the powerplay. So far, in the first three matches, the bowlers have picked up a single wicket at an economy of around eight inside the first six overs.
In Nortje’s absence, both Mustafizur Rahman and Shardul Thakur have mainly operated in the powerplay. The only wicket that DC has been able to scalp in the powerplays was provided to them by Mustafizur. On the other hand, Shardul has been unimpressive. Thakur bowled a single over only against LSG in the powerplay, after leaking runs at an economy of over eight.
Anrich Nortje in his comeback match also bowled a solitary over in the first six. In fact, his introduction in the fifth over was a surprising move for many. Overall, if DC have to make a solid start against KKR then hunting wickets early will be necessary. And to pursue this, Nortje’s express pace looks befitting. Much like KKR’s Umesh Yadav, the SA pacer can hound the batters through his nippy bowling. As KKR’s opening pair has been vulnerable to pacers, Delhi can rattle them easily.
2. Operating with Axar Patel even against left-handed batters
In the last game against Lucknow, skipper Rishabh Pant made a huge blunder. The captain somehow made Axar Patel bowl only two overs while defending. Because of Quinton de Kock’s lofty presence, Pant unreasonably curbed Axar’s left-arm spin.
Despite conceding just 11 runs in his first two overs, the all-rounder was not brought on to the attack. Meanwhile, Lalit Yadav completed his quota of four overs with a single wicket. Two of the main bowlers, Axar and Nortje, contributing 4.2 overs only allowed Lucknow to have a smooth sailing chase.
Against KKR, Axar will have a face-off against the likes of Venkatesh Iyer and Nitish Rana. As an attacking spinner, the southpaw should be used to hunt them rather than getting suppressed. Even if the two left-handed batters look to storm, the long boundaries in some parts at the Brabourne Stadium can yield wickets. All in all, the 28-year-old has bagged more than 24 wickets of left-handed batters in the IPL.
3. Runs from the top-three batters
Much like their bowling, DC have even struggled to start steadfastly with the bat. The top order, barring Prithvi Shaw, has underperformed. So far, Delhi have featured a total of five different cricketers in the top-three positions.
However, with the return of David Warner, a settled opening combination is expected in the upcoming matches. But at number three, the team again needs a batter who provides stability. Perhaps, elevating Sarfaraz Khan to that position can bring a solution to the nagging issue. The franchise had sent the explosive Rovman Powell at number three against Lucknow. But, the position didn’t seem an ideal one for the herculean hitter.
Though the move was aimed at continuing to play attacking cricket, it didn’t work. Someone like Sarfaraz, who plays both orthodox and innovative shots, can perfectly fill the void. Nonetheless, even the captain Rishabh Pant can come in to bat at the crucial number three position. His dynamic batting can also be a viable solution to consolidate the batting order. Against KKR, Pant can be a game-changer, especially against eight overs of quality spin.