IPL: Kolkata Knight Riders take on Rajasthan Royals in match no 54

(Cricket news) Kolkata Knight Riders equation to qualify for the playoff is simple, if they win today's match then they are through. Over the years net run rate has always been something that has cost them a place in the IPL playoffs but this year their scenario has changed a bit. For Rajasthan the only thing they can do is win big by 125 runs and also hope SRH beat MI by 40 runs, the chance of this particular scenario is quite slim and they will mostly play for their pride.

The KKR camp has some good news as both Andre Russell and Lockie Ferguson have started training but it remains to be seen if they are included in the playing XI. Brendon McCullum has a good selection problem as in the last match, we saw MI fast bowlers wreak havoc against the RR batsmans, and this could tempt him into playing 3 fast bowlers instead of his 3 spinner 2 pacer combination. Morgan has used Sunil Narine very tactfully in the second leg as he usually gives him an over to bowl in the powerplay, this trend will continue as Narine’s record against Evin Lewis is one to watch for. He has bowled 82 times to him and dismissed him 6 times conceding only 69 runs in all T20. As for the batting, Eoin Morgan needs to up his game if KKR are to challenge for their third IPL crown.

RR this season have shown glimpses of what this team can do but at times lacked character in the team, the captain Sanju Samson has led from the front without much support from his teammates. RR’s main problem this season has been their misfiring middle order with too many changes and lack of experience has cost them matches that they should have won, with likes of Liam Livingstone and David Miller both failing they had little but to trust the youngsters, a move which clearly hasn’t worked for Kumar Sangakkara and co. The RR think tank might be tempted to bring in this year's most costliest player Chris Morris back into the playing XI considering he has picked 19 wickets in 13 matches against KKR.

Head to head: KKR 12 – 11 RR, the last time they met RR won by six wickets as Chris Morris was man of the match with figures of 4/23.

Pitch and weather report: The common theme at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium has been to win the toss and choose to bowl as five of seven matches have been won by the teams chasing. Sharjah pitch has been the most unpredictable pitch this season as it has been a bowlers paradise. The temperature is going to hover around 40 degrees and there is no chance of rain.

Interesting facts:

  • David Miller averages 22 at strike rate of 119 since 2016
  • KKR spinners have picked up 28 wickets compared to RR’s 9 wickets
  • Nitesh Rana needs 5 more runs to complete 3000 runs in T20
  • RR have the best unit in the powerplay as they average 8.50 rpo 
  • Morgan's average of 11.1 is the worst for a batter who has made a minimum of 100 runs this season     

Also read: Umran Malik testing the speed barrier at the Indian Premier League

Probable XI for KKR:

1 Shubman Gill, 2 Venkatesh Iyer, 3 Rahul Tripathi, 4 Nitish Rana, 5 Eoin Morgan (capt), 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Andre Russell/Shakib Al Hasan, 8 Sunil Narine, 9 Lockie Ferguson/Tim Southee, 10 Prasidh Krishna/Sandeep Warrier, 11 Varun Chakravarthy

Probable XI for RR:

1 Evin Lewis/Liam Livingstone, 2 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 3 Sanju Samson (capt & wk), 4 Shivam Dube, 5 Glenn Phillips, 6 David Miller/Chris Morris, 7 Rahul Tewatia, 8 Shreyas Gopal, 9 Kuldip Yadav, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Chetan Sakariya


Share The Article:

Leave A Reply