Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), well and truly, were on the backfoot during their match against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). However, the Men in Gold and Purple made a stupendous comeback, winning by 10 runs courtesy a strong bowling show.
Placed third in the points table, Dinesh Karthik and Co are next set to lock horns with Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on Saturday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. KXIP, on the other hand, aren’t in the best of rhythms by any stretch of the imagination.
They have floundered in all the departments and would be going into the game on the back of a 69-run defeat at the hands of the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Thursday.
For the time being, it remains to be seen if the Knights resort to changes in their winning combination despite a victory against CSK in their previous encounter.
Here is the Predicted Playing XI for the Kolkata Knight Riders for KXIP vs KKR game:
Openers (Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi)
It’s unlikely that KKR would revamp their opening combo after Rahul Tripathi’s masterful 81 in the last match. He played with a great amount of maturity and gave the stability for his team at the top of the order. Though he could be disappointed that he missed on the chance of a century, he got the Player of the Match award.
The Knights would want another knock of substance from the batsman. Shubman Gill, on the other hand, had a couple of low scores in the last two games. But the Young Turk remains to be a key member for the Knight Riders.
Bearing in mind the talent he has, it’s only a matter of time before the youngster gets back to his best. KXIP’s bowling is out for form and it’s also a chance for Shubman to find his form. KKR would love a solid opening stand between him and Tripathi.
Middle-order (Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (C & WK), Eoin Morgan, Sunil Narine)
KKR’s middle-order hasn’t gotten a lot of runs thus far, but has put forth collective shows. Eoin Morgan, out of five games, looked good in three of them. In the last game, he got out cheaply while trying to go for a pull down the leg-side.
Nitish Rana couldn’t score much last time around, but has been effective as well. The southpaw has 139 runs at an average and strike-rate of 27.80 and 149.46. Dinesh Karthik has floated around in the batting lineup. In the last match, he came to bat at number seven, but it didn’t make much of a difference.
The KKR skipper would be keen to get some runs under his belt before the business end of the tournament. The Knights may persist with Sunil Narine at number four and give him the licence to hit the big shots when the spinners are in operation.
All-rounders (Andre Russell)
Andre Russell hasn’t had a great IPL with the bat in hand. He has threatened to take matches away from the opposition, but is yet to show his lethal best. In the last game, Dre-Russ perished, trying to go for an ugly hack.
In four games, the hulk-like Jamaican has only scored 50 runs at a dismal average of 12.50. Russell has been effective with the ball though. He is KKR’s most economical seamer until now with an economy of eight.
In the 10 overs he has bowled, the pacer has picked up five wickets. If he gets going with the bat in hand, the Punjab-based franchise can be found chasing leather all day.
Bowlers (Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti)
In the bowling department, it can very well be said that Varun Chakravarthy has been KKR’s stand-out bowler. The off-spinner has five wickets at an economy rate of 7.93. Pat Cummins may not have picked up a whole lot of wickets, but he has bowled economically.
The batters have refrained from taking undue risks. Pacers Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi have been amongst the wickets. With a combined tally of nine wickets, Nagarkoti and Mavi have weaved a fair bit of magic. Sunil Narine’s form concerned the Knights before the last match.
However, that he bowled well against CSK would give the KKR team management a whole lot of confidence. Kuldeep Yadav is expected to again warm the benches. The Knights also have the option of using Rana’s part-time off-breaks.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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