Must win game for KKR after four consecutive losses
Punjab Kings to win
|Chennai Super Kings||5||4||1||0||0||8||1.612|
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||5||4||1||0||0||8||0.096|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||5||1||4||0||0||2||-0.675|
The Indian Premier League 2021 is witnessing great shifts in the bottom half of the points table and in this context the 21st game between the Punjab Kings and the Kolkata Knight Riders is expected to be an interesting one. Kings come here after a confidence boosting victory over the Mumbai Indians while the Kolkata Knight Riders went down in the last game against the Rajasthan Royals.
Kolkata Knight Riders have lost the last four games and currently sit at the bottom of the points table. The side would have to put these losses behind and perform well in this game. Punjab Kings with their new found confidence are likely to battle it out in the middle and given the kind of performances we have seen in the two camps this game would surely be a well-fought contest.
KL Rahul’s side finally managed to end its three-game losing run as they defeated the reigning champions Mumbai Indians by 9 wickets in what turned out to be a one-sided game. The Punjab skipper would be extremely proud of the way his bowler performed in the last game as they had been under pressure. Having gained the momentum Rahul would be looking to improve the side’s standing on the points table with a win here.
Openers Rahul and Mayank Agarwal had a good outing in the last game and the side would hope for a similar start from them here. Chris Gayle has been consistent this season and strengthens the middle order with the likes of Deepak Hooda and Nicholas Pooran. In Moises Henriques, Shahrukh Khan and Fabian Allen the side does have a strong lower order that would look to contribute in this game.
It was a wonderful show from their bowlers in the last game and the side would look for a similar show here from Henriques and Hooda with the new ball. Mohammad Shami has bowled with lot of heart and needs to lead this attack. With Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh and Allen in the side, their bowling attack has good depth.
Top Batsman – KL Rahul
Top Bowler – Mohammad Shami
KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Fabian Allen, Ravi Bishnoi, Moises Henriques, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
Arshdeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Mohammed Shami, Shahrukh Khan, Lokesh Rahul, Nicholas Pooran, Moises Henriques, Chris Jordan, Ravi Bishnoi, Mayank Agarwal, Deepak Hooda
Four losses in a row has meant that Eoin Morgan’s side is battling for survival in the tournament. They went down by 6 wickets in the last game against the Rajasthan Royals after their middle order went through a collapse. One more loss could dash their hopes of making it to the playoffs and Morgan would want his players to bounce back and keep the side in the hunt for the next round.
The opening pair of Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana did get their starts in the last game but the side would be expecting more from them. Rahul Tripathi, Morgan and Sunil Narine will need to score runs in the middle as this has been one of the major weaknesses for the side in most of the games so far. With the likes of Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell and Pat Cummins to follow they do have good hitters of the ball who can add quick runs.
Shivam Mavi did well with the ball in the last game but the side would look for a better show from Pat Cummins who hasn’t lived up to his reputation. Prasidh Krishna too has been inconsistent and needs to do maintain his line and length well for the side to emerge victorious. Varun Chakravarthy would have a very important role to play in the middle overs along with Narine.
Top Batsman – Shubman Gill
Top Bowler – Varun Chakravarthy
Eoin Morgan (c), Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi, Prasidh Krishna
Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna, Pat Cummins, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Dinesh Karthik, RA Tripathi
|Hr||Temp||Rain||W. speed||W. direction||Clouds|
|00h||27||0 mm.||1.62 k/h||From: NE||20%|
|03h||29||0 mm.||1.81 k/h||From: NE||13%|
|06h||35||0 mm.||2.45 k/h||From: ESE||13%|
|09h||42||0 mm.||1.6 k/h||From: W||0%|
|12h||42||0 mm.||5.72 k/h||From: SW||3%|
|15h||35||0 mm.||3.25 k/h||From: E||1%|
|18h||32||0 mm.||3.01 k/h||From: S||0%|
|21h||32||0 mm.||1.54 k/h||From: WSW||0%|
It would be an extremely hot evening at Ahmedabad on April 26 with temperatures around the 40° Celsius mark at the start of the game. The wicket would be a dry one and batsmen would need to adjust to the pace and bounce. Any score of more than 180 runs would be a good total on this surface.
Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad has a flat surface and a fast outfield and this allows batsmen to score plenty of runs at this venue. Fast bowlers do generate good pace and bounce from the surface with the new ball while spinners have enjoyed a good record as the ball does grip and turn off the surface.
This is the first game of the season at this venue and the wicket would be a fresh one where bowlers are likely to enjoy good assistance in early part of the game. The track would become easier to bat on in the second innings and hence the side winning the toss would like to bowl first.
Kolkata Knight Riders need to break out of the mess they currently find themselves in. They have been in poor form with the bat and the ball and have to come up with a much improved effort to win here. The Punjab Kings have also been inconsistent but they have a much stronger batting line-up and this would make them favorites in this game.
Punjab Kings to win