Kolkata Knight Riders are all set to lock horns with Rajasthan Royals as the two teams are desperately looking for two points with a huge win, which can take them to the playoffs.
The IPL table, which looked quite settled with the top-three teams scoring 14 points a few days back, is now wide open. Only Mumbai Indians have qualified for the playoffs while the other three spots are still available for grab.
Both KKR and RR are on 12 points and a win in this game will take them to 14 points, however, that won’t be enough as there will be two or three teams with the same points. So, it is all going to depend on the net run rate of the teams, which means that the two teams will look for a big win in this game.
In the last game, Rajasthan defeated the in-form Kings XI Punjab quite comfortably. RR chased down a total of 185 runs with 15 balls spare with the help of another match-winning performance from Ben Stokes. This was a huge win for the team as it kept them alive in the race for the playoffs.
Kolkata, on the other hand, were winning their match against Chennai Super Kings, however, the mind-blowing knock of 31 runs from 11 balls from Ravindra Jadeja took away the game from them. KKR batting first scored 172 runs with the help of 87 runs from Nitish Rana, however, all of it went in vain as CSK clinched their fifth victory of the competition on the last ball of the match.
Is this going to be a thrilling battle or a walk in the park for either of the two sides? Because the only hope of reaching the playoffs is through winning this game with a huge margin.
Match Toss Time: 17:30 Local (19:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 18:00 Local (19:30 IST)
Match Venue: Dubai International Stadium
The weather in Dubai on a matchday is expected to be clear with no chances of rain at all. The highest temperature is expected to be around 37°C while the minimum could be somewhere around 27°C. The humidity is expected to be floating in the 55 percent range in the evening.
The pitch in Dubai has recently witnessed the chasing team coming out on the top as the dew factor makes it difficult for the bowlers to create trouble for the batsmen.
The team batting first has to score above 200 runs to keep their bowlers and themselves in the game because chasing on this pitch will be an easy task.
Kolkata Knight Riders were on the right track, however, two back to back loss have put them in danger of failing to make it to the playoffs. This is one of the most important games for KKR this season. The only change that we can expect is Kuldeep Yadav replacing Rinku Singh because the pitch will support spinners.
Rajasthan Royals, on the other hand, have somehow managed to keep themselves alive in the playoffs race and the credit for it goes to Ben Stokes. The Englishman performed brilliantly in the last two games, which helped RR in winning two consecutive games while chasing.
Looking at how Rajasthan has performed recently, we are not expecting RR to make any changes leaving Varun Aaron might be replaced with Jaydev Unadkat or Ankit Rajpoot.
Probable Playing XI
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Sunil Narine, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Eoin Morgan (C), Rinku Singh/Kuldeep Yadav, Pat Cummins, Lockie Ferguson, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Varun Chakravarthy.
Rajasthan Royals (RR): Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson (WK), Steve Smith (C), Robin Uthappa, Riyan Parag, Jos Buttler, Rahul Tewatia, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Kartik Tyagi, Varun Aaron/Jaydev Unadkat/Ankit Rajpoot.
KKR vs RR Fantasy Team
Ben Stokes (C), Sanju Samson (WK), Jos Buttler, Steve Smith, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tewatia, Ben Stokes, Kartik Tyagi, Jofra Archer (VC), Varun Chakravarthy, Pat Cummins.
Captain Picks: Ben Stokes (RR), Steve Smith (RR)
Vice-Captain Picks: Jofra Archer (RR), Varun Chakravarthy (KKR)
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