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The 24th match of the Indian Premier League 2020 will take place between the struggling KXIP and the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Kings XI Punjab having lost against the SRH on Thursday, now are placed at the bottom of the table. While Kolkata Knight Riders have been doing a wonderful job this season and look a very well balanced side and would be looking forward to carrying on the winning momentum.

The Kings Xl Punjab have put on some bold performances throughout this season but for some reason have not been able to convert them into wins. The team now has played six matches this season and has managed to only one occasion so far. The match against the SRH once again proved the team was too dependent on their captain KL Rahul to do the job. As the rare failure of Rahul meant the team was dismissed for a 132 with the lone warrior Nicholas Pooran  playing a cracker of an innings of 77 runs of a mere 37 balls. 

Kolkata Knight Riders on the other side will be feeling really lucky to have snatched the victory from the hands of Chennai Super Kings. KKR after electing to bat first managed to put up a score of 167 on the board. Given the current form of the CSK players the score looked a winning one. But once again the Australian Veteran played a crucial part by scoring a classy fifty. But the slowness of the pitch added with the middle-order woes of the CSK meant KKR were handed a 10 run victory.

Though the captain of KKR, Dinesh Karthik has not been leading from front with the bat and looks to be struggling to time the ball. His captaincy has been exceptional so far as he held onto the spinners till the end and worked a gem for him.

Can KXIP bounce back and keep their hopes alive in the tournament? Or will the Knight Riders make it tougher for the Punjab team?

Head to Head

Matches Played- 25, KXIP- 8, KKR- 17, N/R- 0

Team News

Kings Xl Punjab have not reported any injuries. The team though will be looking to some changes once again as the management has not been able to find the winning combination so far. Good news for the KXIP would be that of Chris Gayle being fit to play the upcoming matches as he could not play the last match due to a food poisoning. 

With the Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell struggling to time the ball. He is the one likely to make way for the West Indian hard-hitter.

Kolkata Knight Riders on the other side would be more than happy to continue with the same Xl that won the match against Chennai Super Kings.

Pitch and Conditions

The pitch in Abu Dhabi has been good to the bowlers when compared to the pitch in Dubai and Sharjah. As seen the match between KKR and CSK the spinners did have a good time as the pitch was seen holding up, especially towards the middle overs of the second innings.

The conditions are well in favor of cricket as clear skies are reported once again. The temperature is expected to be slightly on the lower, around the 30 degree range. While the humidity is also expected to be on the lower side, with maximum humidity expected to reach 51%. The players would feel a bit relieved this time around the temperature and humidity being on the lower side. 

Probable Playing Xl

Kings Xi Punjab (KXIP): KL Rahul (c), Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell/ Chris Gayle, Simran Singh (wk), Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell

Kolkata Knight Riders(KKR): Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy

Key Battles

KL Rahul (KXIP) vs Pat Cummins (KKR)

KL Rahul (KXIP) vs Pat Cummins (KKR)

The captain of KXIP, KL Rahul might be having a rough time as a captain. But as a batsman he has been in his prime. The Indian opener as predicted earlier by Cricwizz, is currently the orange cap holder and he looks unstoppable. Rahul has already scored 313 runs at a strike-rate of 137 in the mere 6 matches he has played. What makes the feat even more amazing is the strike-rate at which he has scored the runs. 

KKR will definitely be aware of the threat the Right-hander can be. With experience being one of the vital factors in the game of cricket. KKR will be hoping their key bowler Pat Cummins can do the job. Though the Australian has not yet enjoyed the same success in IPL as he has in the International level. The pacer is someone who has abundant experience on his side and is sure to have done a lot of homework on the weaknesses of the KXIP captain.

Can the Australian outsmart the in-form captain? Or will the opener keep piling on the runs?

Rahul Tripathi (KKR) vs Mohammad Shami (KXIP)

Rahul Tripathi (KKR) vs Mohammad Shami (KXIP)

With Sunil Narine being ineffective at the top of the order, KKR were forced to try out something new and once again they have been successful. The Right-Hander used the opportunity very well by scoring a fluent 81 of 51 balls and looks to have cemented the opener slot along with Shubman Gill. He looks a very stable batsman and the right opener KKR was looking for. 

He could once again surprise the opposition with his hard-hitting and the KXIP will definitely be aware of the threat he poses. Though the Punjab team have Mohammad Shami who will open their bowling and the fact that he is one of the most experienced contenders in the team. He is likely to make things difficult for the KKR opener.

Mohammad is currently placed 5th in the list of the highest wicket-takers and is only 3 wickets behind the purple cap holder Kagiso Rabada.

Prediction

KXIP will be desperate to win the match so as to keep their hopes alive in the tournament. The Kings Xl Punjab team will be hoping all their players gel together as their major concern has been the inconsistency of the players. They will be hoping they can turn the tables to their side this time around especially now being a do or die situation for KL Rahul and Co.

Kolkata Knight Riders on the other side look a very well balanced side and seem to have got hold of the proceedings. Though the major concern for the team would be the form of their captain Dinesh Karthik, who has been struggling to get going. Said that, Karthik has been doing a wonderful job in leading the side.

The Abu Dhabi pitch is on the slower side and given the number of spinners KKR posses added with a great bowling up, the team looks a tough one to beat. 

Cricwizz predicts Kolkata Knight Riders to win the match