Why Andre Russell not playing today: Kolkata Knight Riders have made a couple of changes to their Playing XI for this match in Sharjah.
During the 41st match of the ongoing 14th season of the Indian Premier League between Kolkata Knight Riders and Delhi Capitals in Sharjah, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan has won the toss and chose to field.
“We’re bowling first. I don’t know what the wicket will be like, but it’s not a belter, and not too bad, so somewhere in between. Setting a score might be a challenge, so we’ll try bowling. As a team we are focussed on taking it game by game.
“We have played good cricket in the second half and we have gone up from second-last position and we want to continue that performance. My performance has been a roller-coaster, so as long as the team is doing well,” Morgan told Star Sports at the toss.
Unlike the cases in most of the matches, Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant admitted that they were looking to bat first at Sharjah Cricket Stadium today.
💙 🤜🤛 💜
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) September 28, 2021
“We were looking to bat first anyway. We don’t really know what the conditions are like. 150-160 should be good, since the wicket looks slow. We are looking to take one match at a time, and hope we can win this game and qualify for the playoffs for sure,” Pant told Star Sports at the toss.
Why is Andre Russell not playing vs Delhi Capitals?
Needing to win this match to be in the lead with respect to teams likely to enter the playoffs, Knight Riders have had to deal with a massive blow in the absence of all-rounder Andre Russell. While Russell has been left out due to an injury, fast bowler Prasidh Krishna has also been dropped probably after consuming 22 runs in their last match against Chennai Super Kings.
As a result, Kolkata have included a pacer-duo of Tim Southee and Sandeep Warrier. Readers must note that both Southee and Warrier will be taking the field for the first time in this season. While Warrier has played four matches for KKR in the last two seasons, Southee is making his debut for the franchise today after being roped in as Pat Cummins’ replacement for this leg of IPL 2021.
Southee, who had made his IPL debut for Chennai Super Kings in 2011, has represented Rajasthan Royals, Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore over the years. Returning to the IPL after a couple of years, Southee has picked 28 IPL wickets in 40 matches at an average of 46.18, an economy rate of 8.74 and a strike rate of 31.71.
As far as Capitals are concerned, they have made a solitary change to their Playing XI by bringing in Steven Smith for the first time this season in place of injured opening batter Prithvi Shaw.