What compounded Kolkata Knight Riders’ pain in enduring Sunday’s last-ball loss to Chennai Super Kings was the injury to its star all-rounder Andre Russell. Considering that KKR has some distance to cover for a place in the playoffs, Russell’s availability assumes paramount importance.
The extent of Russell’s injury, suspected to be a pulled hamstring, is not known but KKR would prefer to have him back for its last three games following Tuesday’s clash against Delhi Capitals at Sharjah.
DC has twice the number of points earned by KKR but it cannot afford to be complacent against a rival keen to avenge the seven-wicket loss suffered at Ahmedabad. Notably for DC, that win triggered off its current four-match winning streak.
Having taken care of the passage to the playoffs, DC’s next goal – like CSK – is to finish first or second in the league.
After playing KKR, DC faces Mumbai Indians, CSK and Royal Challengers Bangalore. For CSK, besides DC, its other rivals are from the lower half – Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings.
KKR, first among equals involving teams on eight points, has done well after resuming its campaign. Now, KKR’s in-form top-order faces a severe test from DC’s impressive bowling in the first powerplay.
DC and KKR will be playing their second successive day-game after weekend clashes at Abu Dhabi. Given a choice, KKR could prefer to bat second considering its last two, comfortable victories came when chasing targets.