Rajasthan Royals will take on Kolkata Knight Riders at the Dubai International Stadium, in what will mark the 12th match of the IPL 2020. Both the teams come into the match on the back of wins. While, the home team Rajasthan Royals are yet to taste defeat in this season. Kolkata Knight Riders after their poor show in their first match bounced back against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
KKR had a forgettable first match against the defending champions Mumbai Indians and bounced back well to defeat the 2016 champions Sunrisers Hyderabad. Sunrisers batting for the second time failed as they could only put up a score of 145 on the board, KKR were not going to lose the match from there as their Opener Shubman Gill scored a clinical 70 to guide KKR to their first win of this season.
Rajasthan Royals have been in great touch and seem untouchable at the moment. The team was coming into the tournament without the services of Ben Stokes, who is their key player. But, Rajasthan Royals have shown sheer supremacy even with the absence of the English all-rounder. After the remarkable century of Mayank Agarwal and half century of K.L Rahul, which took KXIP to a score of 223, the highest score of this tournament. The match was almost sealed in favor of them.
Rajasthan Royals though had different plans for the evening as the charming Sanju Samson with the partnership of Steve Smith and Rahul Tewatia helped Rajasthan Royals enter the record books for the highest successful run-chase in the history of the tournament.
Can Rajasthan Royals continue their unbeaten run? Or will the two times champions prove their worth?
Head to Head
Matches Played- 20, KKR- 10, RR- 8, Tie- 2
Both teams have not reported any injuries. Though, Rajasthan Royals will be again going to the match without the services of their star all-rounder Ben Stokes. Said that, the team has been doing a wonderful job in this season and will be more than happy to feature the same Xl that won the epic thriller against Kings Xl Punjab.
Kolkata Knight Riders are likely to play the same Xl that won the match against SRH as all their players have seem to get the hang of things and for that reason the management would not want to disturb the winning combination.
Pitch and Conditions
Like Sharjah and Abu Dhabi, Dubai will not be a belter for the batsman as seen in the previous matches the pitch tends to hold up quite a bit. Added to the slowness, the batsmen were also taken by surprise by the off bounce at times. Overall, the team batting first should do good with a total of 170-175.
The weather as expected is on the clear side. Temperature is reported to be hovering in the 32 degree range. For a change, the humidity is on the lower side, with the highest mark only being around the 53% range, which is much lower than the usual 65-70% range.
Probable Playing Xl
Rajasthan Royals (RR): Steven Smith (c), Jos Butler (wk), Sanju Samson, Robin Uthappa, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Tom Curran, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Ankit Rajpoot, Jaydev Unadkat
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Sanju Samson(RR) vs Sunil Narine(KKR)
The 25-year old wicket-keeper batsman Sanju Samson has been making the headlines every time he turns up to bat. The two matches RR have played this season, the youngster has bagged the Man of the Match Awards in both of them and seems to be in prime touch. With scores of 75 and 84 in the last two matches with both the innings played at a strike-rate of more than 200. Samson is the big fish KKR will want to pick up early.
KKR do have a hunter in their side in form of the West Indian Sunil Narine. The off-spinner could slip in a few amazing deliveries and even the best batsman in their prime form fall prey to him. Said that, the West Indian has not been in a great touch this season given his standards and will be looking forward to getting the hard-hitter’s wicket which could boost his form up.
Can the youngster once again play the knock which will take RR home? Or will the West Indian cast his spell on him?
Shubman Gill(KKR) vs Jofra Archer(RR)
Ever since Gill made the headlines in the under-19 World Cup. The youngster has been in the radar to make it to the highest profile. Though he has not been able to replicate the performance as such, the Right-hander is highly talented and he proved that by scoring a clinical 70 which took KKR to their first win of this season. He is one of the few players who can play the game in all gears and that definitely makes him the biggest threat for the opposition.
Rajasthan Royals on the other side have an exceptional talent in the form of Jofra Archer. The English pacer had a forgettable last match against KXlP, where he was taken for 46 runs in his quota of 4 overs. But, the 25-year old can be excused as most of the bowlers were taken for a ride as the match saw over 440 runs been scored. He would be raring to go now and what could be better than picking up the wicket of the best batsman in the opposition team.
In the battle of the youngsters. Who do you think will prevail?
Rajasthan Royals seem to be unstoppable as even the score of 223 was not enough to stop Steven Smith and Co. One could agree Sanju Samson played crucial roles to take the team home in both the matches. But, RR have been a team that does not depend on a single player to win the game for them as the whole team has been contributing in some way or the other.
Their captain Steve Smith has also been leading from the front with crucial knocks in both the innings and who could forget the roller-coaster innings played by Rahul Tewatia against KXlP.
KKR were completely clueless against Mumbai Indians in their first match but did a good job to bounce back against the SRH. Said that, their captain Dinesh Karthik has not yet contributed to the team which definitely would be a huge concern for the KKR team. Further to their woes, their key players Andre Russell and Eoin Morgan are yet to play significant parts.
There is no denying KKR have one of the best teams in the tournament. But they have not been able to convert them to wins as some of the key players seem out of form. Will this be the match that could turn the momentum their way?
Cricwizz predicts Rajasthan Royals to win the match