The Indian Premier League 2021 has produced some exciting cricketing action since its resumption in the United Arab Emirates. While some teams have been consistent, others haven't yet cracked the code in the Middle East. With the business end of the tournament fast approaching and not many matches left in the league stage, teams now will not want to lose points.
The first match of the double-header on Tuesday is between two teams that have been impressive in the second half of IPL 2021. While Delhi Capitals were impressive even in the first half and as a result have more or less guaranteed themselves a place in the Playoffs, what a turnaround it has been for Kolkata Knight Riders who have registered two out of three wins since league resumption.
Even in their previous match which they lost to Chennai Super Kings, they were in the match for a long time but faltered near the finish line. On the other hand, Delhi are yet to lose a game in the second half. Yet the two teams were forced to make a few changes to their lineup. At the toss at Sharjah, it was confirmed that while Delhi Capitals were playing without Prithvi Shaw, Kolkata were without Andre Russell.
Steve Smith, Tim Southee replace Prithvi Shaw, Andre Russell in DC, KKR respectively
As both the players were integral to their respective teams' plans, an injury has somewhat changed the balance of the sides. Kolkata have brought in Tim Southee and Sandeep Warrier in place of Russell and Prasidh Krishna, who conceded 22 in the penultimate over against Chennai.
For Delhi, Shaw was the lone change and he made way for Steve Smith at the top of the order.
It has been confirmed that both Shaw and Russell have been left out due to injuries. While Russell had a relatively quiet season with the bat so far, he was doing well with the ball and had picked up 11 wickets already. Meanwhile, Shaw was in good rhythm this year and had helped Delhi off to a great start on quite a few occasions, forming a successful opening partnership with Shikhar Dhawan. Shaw, in fact, had accumulated 329 runs in 10 matches at a strike rate of over 160.