Fight for the qualification to knockouts!
Our Prediction is Kings XI Punjab to win!
Both teams had almost similar campaigns with a good start in the first half followed by a flurry of losses in the second half. This match will be an eliminator for the teams with the winner staying in contention for playoffs.
Kings XI Punjab has now lost three games in a row and in fact has won just one out of last six encounters. Lokesh Rahul and Chris Gayle are in good form and are the consistent run scorers for the team with 450+ runs this season. Mayank Agarwal and Nicholas Pooran are looking good but there is no big contribution from other batsmen. Skipper Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami are only the securities in the bowling line-up. They have bowled well and taken wickets but are provided very little support from another end. Murugan Ashwin has been good lately and will find a place in playing XI. Sam Curran may replace Mujeeb in the starting XI this match.
Kolkata Knight Riders have broken their six-match losing streak with their win against Mumbai Indians last match. They had 4 wins in first 5 matches and then lost six matches in a row. Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, and Andre Russell piled up their respective 50+ scores last match helping their team score a massive 232 runs. Skipper Dinesh Karthik and Nitish Rana are too good in batting whenever the opportunity is presented. Their bowling is their biggest worry so far. Hardik Pandya almost threatened to chase down the massive total last match with his unbelievable knock. Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, and Andre Russell are amongst the wickets but are leaking runs at a higher rate. Andre Russell is playing the matches with fitness issues and is expected to play the entire season. Harry Gurney and Sandeep Warrior are expected to retain their place in the playing XI.
Lokesh Rahul – Rahul has been their leading run-scorer this season with more than 500 runs but has been under the scanner for slow starts and putting pressure on the batsman at the other end. He needs to quickly get off the blocks and score runs with a good strike rate in power plays.
Ravichandran Ashwin – Ashwin has been the best bowler for the team providing breakthroughs at crucial times in all the matches. But his captaincy is under the scanner with some bizarre choices and decisions at important times.
Stats from the season:
Lokesh Rahul - 520 runs, Strike rate – 132, HS- 100*, 100s-1, 50s- 5
Mohammed Shami – 16 wickets, Economy -9.1 RPO, BB -3/21
Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul, Simran Singh(Wk), Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Mohammed Shami, Murugan Ashwin, Sam Curran, Arshdeep Singh, David Miller/Hardus Viljoen
AJ Tye, Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Lokesh Rahul, Nicholas Pooran, M Singh, Murugan Ashwin, Mayank Agarwal, Sam Curran
Shubman Gill – Gill is a promising youngster and has a wide range of strokes up his sleeve. He scored 76 runs off 45 balls before the Russell carnage the last match. Gill owns the opening slot and is a big player for the KKR`s future.
Andre Russell – Russell has been the super striker, MVP of the tournament and is the billion dollar man for KKR. He scored 80 off 40 balls and took 2/25 with his bowling the last match for his all-round show. KKR need to manage his workload to ease him of his injury concerns.
Stats from the season:
Andre Russell - 486 runs, SR – 208, HS- 80, 50s- 4 & 10 Wickets, Eco – 9 RPO, BB – 2/21
Sunil Narine - 10 wickets, Economy – 7.8 RPO, BB – 2/19
Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Sunil Narine, Harry Gurney, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Sandeep Warrier, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh/Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill
Sunil Narine, RV Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik, SS Warrier, Shubman Gill, Chris Lynn, RK Singh, Nitish Rana, Piyush Chawla, Harry Gurney, Andre Russell
Mohali is one of the true pitches in Indian with pace, bounce and carry. Fast bowlers enjoy bowling here and spinners may extract bounce out of the track. Batsmen will enjoy playing shots through the line owing to the bounce. This pitch has something to offer for everyone. The average score in this pitch will be 180 runs. The match day promises to have hot and humid weather with less to no chances of rain.
Teams batting second have won 3 out of 5 matches and scores over 170 runs have been chased twice successfully. The dew factor may come in the second innings and both teams will look to bats second here.
Both teams largely rely on their batting for winning matches and KXIP has a better bowling attack compared to KKR on paper and is playing on home conditions so expect them to win the match. With the likes of Russell, Gayle, Rahul, Miller, Pooran, Lynn we expect fireworks from both the teams batting.
We are backing Kings XI Punjab for the win in this match!
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