IPL 2021 Qualifier 2 | DC vs KKR: SWOT Analysis

DC eye maiden title | IPL 2021 Qualifier 2 Delhi Capitals vs Kolkata Knight Riders: SWOT Analysis

The Rishabh Pant-led side lost Qualifier 1 against Chennai Super Kings

Rishabh Pant of Delhi Capitals and Dinesh Karthik of Kolkata Knight Riders. Credit: PTI File Photo

Delhi Capitals (DC) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) would be eyeing a place in the final when the two teams lock horns in Qualifier 2 of IPL 2021. DC come into this match slightly low on confidence. The Rishabh Pant-led side lost Qualifier 1 against Chennai Super Kings. But Eoin Morgan’s KKR would be upbeat as they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Eliminator, paving their way for Qualifier 2. 


Strengths: The bowling looks the team’s most potent weapon. Indian pacer Avesh Khan has been in scintillating form. He is the team’s leading wicket-taker this term with 23 wickets. The South African pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Norje have combined to pick 23 wickets. Axar Patel has been excellent with his spinning deliveries and has picked 15 wickets. 

Weaknesses: DC’s inability to defend totals has been exposed. DC come into this match suffering two straight losses. Both losses came when the team batted first and was unable to close out the game in the last over of the match. In total, the team has lost five matches this season, while defending a total. This unidimensional approach is hurting the team. If Rishabh Pant dreams of taking his team into the final, then he should rectify this weakness and the team should be ready to defend totals too. 

Opportunities: If DC manages a win, then it would qualify for a second straight final. A second straight appearance in the title match would be a stamp of consistency. 

Threats: Unfortunately, DC is suffering from the bad habit of struggling in the play-offs. Back in 2019, DC lost Qualifier 2 against CSK. Last season, DC first lost Qualifier-I against MI. Though the team did manage to qualify for the final after defeating SRH. But DC’s show against eventual champions MI in the final did highlight that the team is suffering from some sort of stage fright in knockout games. The loss against CSK a couple of days ago in this year’s Qualifier-I has only made this argument stronger. 


Strengths: KKR have momentum and form by their side. The team was looking defeated in the Indian leg of IPL 2021. But ever since the team has landed in the UAE, it looks like a reformed side. The side has won six of the eight matches they have played in the UAE leg. In those six wins, they have defeated RCB twice and DC once. This accounts for three wins over two teams that qualified for the play-offs. The venue could also work in their favour. KKR have played three matches in Sharjah and won all three of them. The numbers tell that the odds are stacked in KKR’s favour. 

Weaknesses: Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik’s form with the bat still remains a cause of concern. The two are so low on confidence that in the Eliminator against RCB, Morgan promoted Sunil Narine ahead of Karthik and himself. Although the move paid rich dividends it clearly highlighted what KKR’s biggest weakness is. Narine’s slogs with the bat may not always win a match for KKR. So, Morgan and Karthik will be under pressure to get runs in this must-win match. 

Opportunities: Since the play-off rules were amended in 2011, eight of the ten editions have seen teams finishing either first or second on the points table advance to the final. Against a DC side that would be slightly low on confidence, KKR has a big chance to against the history and numbers and qualify for the play-offs. 

Threats: All the hard work that the team has put in to reach this stage of IPL 2021, will be undone if the team fails to win this match. It is perform or perish time.  

Also read: Recharged KKR in way of fancied DC's maiden IPL title aspirations


Matches played: 28

DC wins: 12

KKR wins: 15

No Result: 1

What transpired between the two teams in their league phase face-offs this season?

In the league stage matches between the two teams, DC and KKR won a match each. DC won the first match between the two teams this season by 7 wickets. KKR bounced back and defeated DC by 3 wickets when the two sides crossed each other’s path in the UAE. 

Form Guide



Pitch and conditions

The pitches at Sharjah aren’t tailormade for high scores. The average first innings total in the eight games played at Sharjah this season (prior to the RCB vs KKR Eliminator) has been just 137. The Eliminator between RCB and KKR wasn’t a high scoring fixture either with RCB managing only 138. Going by the trends, the pitch for this match too should be on the slower side. 

A clear and warm evening is expected for the match. The temperature will be around 28°C and humidity level would be around 51%. 

Team News

KKR would be fretting over the fitness for star all-rounder Andre Russell. DC are also having concerns over the fitness of their star-allrounder Marcus Stoinis. The absence of these two players would be a big blow for both teams. 

Deccan Herald’s Dream XI

Shikhar Dhawan, Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Eoin Morgan, Axar Patel, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy, Avesh Khan, Shivam Mavi, Kagiso Rabada

Impact player for DC

Shikhar Dhawan: DC’s left-hand opener is the team’s top scorer this year with 551 runs to his name. He has scored three fifties in process and notched runs at a strike rate of 127.54. With Prithvi Shaw struggling for form in the UAE leg of the tournament, a lot relies on Dhawan to get his team to a flying start. 

Impact player for KKR

Sunil Narine: Against RCB the West Indian spinner proved for the umpteenth time that why he is one of the best T20 spinners. Narine bowled a decisive spell against RCB in which he picked four wickets. In the spell, the spinner prized the wickets of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell. Heading into the game against DC, Narine will have form by his side. This season Narine has picked 14 wickets at an average of 22.00 and has an economy of just 6.41. Needless to say, Narine’s four overs will be crucial in deciding KKR’s fate.