Virtual knockout game for playoff berth between KKR and Rajasthan
Kolkata Knight Riders to win
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||13||7||6||0||0||14||-0.145|
|Kings XI Punjab||13||6||7||0||0||12||-0.133|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||13||6||7||0||0||12||-0.467|
|Chennai Super Kings||13||5||8||0||0||10||-0.532|
In what is expected to be a virtual qualification game for the playoffs the Kolkata Knight Riders would be taking on the Rajasthan Royals. Both the sides have 12 points after 13 games and the winner of this game would book a place for itself in the next round. The loser would still be in the hunt based on net run rate but none of the two sides would like to take their chances of qualification to that stage.
Rajasthan Royals come into this game after a big win against Kings XI Punjab and they would be looking to carry that momentum forward. They had lost to Kolkata Knight Riders earlier in the season and the side would be looking to even it out in this game. Kolkata’s record against Rajasthan has been brilliant over the years and the side would look to maintain that status quo.
Eoin Morgan’s team has been inconsistent all through this season and come into this game with a 6-wicket loss at the hands of Chennai Super Kings. It was yet another instance if poor show from their lower middle order and bowling attack. They can’t afford to make this mistake as they go up against a confident looking Rajasthan Royals in what has till now been the most important game for the side.
Shubman Gill has had a great season with the bat and he would be looking to provide a good start with Nitish Rana who played a good knock in the last game. In the middle order the side would require better show from Sunil Narine, Rinku Singh and Morgan who spoilt a good start in the last game. Rahul Tripathi and Dinesh Karthik are good finishers and they will need to make their skills count in the next game.
Pat Cummins and Varun Chakravarthy have bowled well this season but other than these two other bowlers have been inconsistent. Cummins would have to strike early along with Kamlesh Nagarkoti. Narine has kept the line tight and he will have to lead the attack during the middle overs alongside Lockie Ferguson who had a poor outing in the last game leaking runs all around.
Top Batsman – Shubman Gill
Top Bowler – Pat Cummins
Eoin Morgan (c), Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Rinku Singh, Pat Cummins, Lockie Ferguson, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Varun Chakravarthy
Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Varun Chakravarthy, Pat Cummins, Nitish Rana, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Dinesh Karthik, RA Tripathi
Steven Smith’s side has kept its hopes alive with a massive win against the Kings XI Punjab in the last game. Chasing a huge total the side went about clinically to win it by 7 wickets. However, Morgan would be aware of his side’s poor record against Kolkata against whom they have lost the earlier game of the season. He would look to turn it around in the next game and make it to the playoffs.
Their batting looks formidable at the moment with Ben Stokes and Robin Uthappa in good form at the moment. Sanju Sampson has regained form and along with Steven Smith and Jos Buttler makes this middle order very strong for now. In Riyan Parag and Rahul Tewatia they have good hitters down the order that can easily take on the KKR bowling attack.
As far as their bowling is concerned it has been a Jofra Archer show so far and the side would want him to strike early. Varun Aaron leaked runs in the last game and the side would want a better performance from him. Shreyas Gopal will need to bowl tight lines in the middle overs along with Stokes and Kartik Tyagi. With Tewatia in the mix they have depth in their bowling.
Best Batsman – Ben Stokes
Best Bowler – Jofra Archer
Steven Smith (c), Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Sanju Samson (wk), Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Kartik Tyagi
Steven Smith, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Sanju Samson, Varun Aaron, Jos Buttler, RV Uthappa, R Tewatia, S Gopal, Kartik Tyagi, Riyan Parag
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||24||0 mm.||1.69 k/h||From: E||0%|
|03h||24||0 mm.||2.38 k/h||From: ESE||0%|
|06h||28||0 mm.||1.84 k/h||From: S||0%|
|09h||29||0 mm.||3.96 k/h||From: WNW||0%|
|12h||28||0 mm.||4.72 k/h||From: NW||0%|
|15h||27||0 mm.||3.9 k/h||From: NNW||0%|
|18h||26||0 mm.||0.71 k/h||From: N||0%|
|21h||25||0 mm.||0.42 k/h||From: SE||0%|
Dubai would see a warm evening and the temperatures would drop as the game progresses. It will be good conditions for batting where the ball us expected to come nicely onto the bat allowing the batsmen to play their strokes freely. 180 would be a par score on this surface that the side batting first can defend.
Dubai International Cricket Stadium has a great pitch and a fast outfield which aids the batsmen but the large size of the ground also creates doubts in the minds of the batsmen. Fast bowlers have always struggled as there isn’t much on the surface for them and they need to use their variations well. Spinners have enjoyed a good run here as the ball tends to turn a bit here.
The winter dew is setting in and this is making difficult for the sides to bowl in the second innings where the ball becomes wet. In the last few games at this venue we have seen most captains prefer to bowl first upon winning the toss and in this game as well the side winning the toss is likely to invite the opponents to bat first.
Rajasthan Royals are coming into this game with a big win inter their belt. Their batsmen have done well in the last few games but it is their bowling attack that has disappointed and this is one area that will need to work on ahead of the next game. Kolkata Knight Riders too have their story of struggle but the side enjoys an envious record against Rajasthan. It will be a close game but KKR’s record against Rajasthan would give the slight edge.
Kolkata Knight Riders to win