The battle to rise on the points table for Royals and KKR
Kolkata Knight Riders to win
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||4||4||0||0||0||8||1.009|
|Chennai Super Kings||4||3||1||0||0||6||1.142|
|Kolkata Knight Riders||4||1||3||0||0||2||-0.7|
The 18th game of the Indian Premier League between the Rajasthan Royals and the Kolkata Knight Riders would be an interesting one. Both the sides are struggling at the moment with a win each in their four games. The Knight Riders come here with a loss against the Chennai Super Kings while the Rajasthan Royals were annihilated in their previous game by the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Kolkata Knight Riders have had an excellent record against the Royals where they have lost only once against them in the last four seasons. The side would be carrying that confidence into the next game as they look to move up on the points table. It would be interesting to see if Rajasthan Royals is able to improve that record and earn its second win of the season.
Sanju Samson would be terribly upset with the loss they suffered at the hands of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the last game. After putting up a decent total on the surface the side went down by 10 wickets due to an extremely poor effort with the ball. With three losses in four games the side will have to break out of its poor form to stay in the hunt for a place in the playoffs of the tournament.
Batting wise Manan Vohra and Jos Buttler are struggling at the top and this is complicating the matters for the side and Liam Livingstone should get a chance in this game in place of Buttler. Sampson hasn’t fired since his brilliant knock in the first game and has to handhold the middle order that has David Miller and Shivam Dube who played well in the last game. Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia and Riyan Parag have played few handy knocks in the season and need to contribute more considering the form of their top order.
Their bowling attack was torn apart in the last game as none of their bowlers were able to trouble the Royal Challengers. Chetan Sakariya and Shreyas Gopal must strike early for the side to win here. Morris hasn’t impressed with the ball so far and needs to make his huge price tag count. Mustafizur Rahman is doing well and the side would expect better lines from Parag and Tewatia in the middle overs.
Top Batsman – Liam Livingstone
Top Bowler – Mustafizur Rahman
Sanju Samson (c & wk), Manan Vohra, Liam Livingstone, Shivam Dube, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Chetan Sakariya, Shreyas Gopal, Mustafizur Rahman
Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shivam Dube, Mustafizur Rahman, Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya, Sanju Samson, Chris Morris, David Miller, Jos Buttler, R Tewatia, Riyan Parag
Eoin Morgan’s side went down against the Chennai Super Kings in the last game by 18 runs in what as one of the best rearguard actions seen in the tournament’s history. From being hopelessly down at 31 for 5 they did manage to scare the Super Kings towards the end in the last game. Morgan would like to draw positives out of that performance and aim for a win against the struggling Rajasthan Royals.
It is high time Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana give a proper start to the side as they are putting the side into trouble too early. The same goes for Morgan, Rahul Tripathi and Sunil Narine in the middle order as they went out cheaply in the last game. Andre Russell and Pat Cummins played sensational knocks in the last game and along with Dinesh Karthik add to the side’s firepower down the order.
Bowling has been a problem area for the side as Varun Chakravarthy has been the only bowler in form. The side would need early wickets from Pat Cummins in this game. Prasidh Krishna and Kamlesh Nagarkoti need to make good use of their pace especially in the death overs. The side would also like to see tight spells from Narine and Russell in this game.
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, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Varun Chakravarthy, 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.||3.26 k/h||From: N||90%|
|03h||28||0 mm.||1.89 k/h||From: NNE||72%|
|06h||30||0 mm.||3.53 k/h||From: NW||59%|
|09h||31||0 mm.||6.72 k/h||From: WNW||14%|
|12h||30||0 mm.||7.31 k/h||From: WNW||22%|
|15h||29||0 mm.||5.21 k/h||From: NW||37%|
|18h||29||0 mm.||4.22 k/h||From: NNW||24%|
|21h||29||0 mm.||4.49 k/h||From: NNW||16%|
There would be slight cloud cover over Mumbai on April 24 but this isn’t expected to affect the game. The wickets here have been flat and this has allowed batsmen to score their runs easily. Batting first the side would have to eye a total of 200 runs to be able to feel safe defending it.
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai is one of the best T20 grounds in India and batsmen enjoy batting on this surface. The boundaries are smaller and a flat surface comes in the aid of batsmen. Fast bowlers have to be smart on this surface but this has been a happy place for the spinners as the odd ball does turn on this surface.
The wicket at Mumbai has been a good one to chase down totals. We have seen most teams prefer to bowl first as the wicket stays true right through the course of the game. Hence, the side winning the toss here would have little hesitation in bowling first in this game.
Rajasthan Royals are coming here with a confidence shattering defeat. Their bowling attack looked completely out of tune in the last game and shall need to bowl better lines here. Their batting too has failed at the top increasing the problems for the side at the moment. Kolkata Knight Riders will have to grab their opportunities which they have failed to do but they would have a better group of players which shall put them ahead in this game.
Kolkata Knight Riders to win