The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League is turning into an absolute nightmare for the Kolkata Knight Riders. Yet to win a game after their victory in the first match, they will face Punjab Kings at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad tomorrow.
Last year the teams contested much evenly fought matches, with each team winning a game apiece. The first match went to the Kolkata franchise, with Punjab falling short of the target by 2 runs. Though they brought home the victory in the reverse fixture successfully chasing down the target with 7 balls to spare.
With just 2 points from the 5 matches played so far, KKR will be hoping to get back to the winning ways. Punjab on the other hand after a string of defeats managed to thrash the Mumbai Indians by 9 wickets and a win against KKR could see them replace Mumbai Indians in the 4th spot.
Will Kolkata emerge as a resurgent side claiming a victory? Or will Punjab prove too strong of a team to contend with right now?
Match Toss Time: 19:00 Local (13:30 GMT)
Match Start Time: 19:30 Local (14:00 GMT)
Match Venue: Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
Head to Head
Matches Played: 27, PBKS: 18, KKR: 9
Conditions seem to be fit for a wonderful game of cricket with bright and sunny skies forecasted. The temperatures are predicted to hover around the region 43-35 degrees celsius with humidity touching the 23% mark, with no chances of rainfall.
The strip at Ahmedabad leans more towards the spin-friendly pitches, but all depending on the soil and conditions. While on red soil, spinners have found joy the most, while black soil has suited the pacers more. If the recently played India England white-ball tournaments are any indication, it should be a high-scoring game with a little something for everyone.
Ravi Bishnoi’s addition to the bowling lineup has helped the team and the management wouldn't be looking to make any changes to the selection after breaking their losing streak to Mumbai last game. Much focus remains on Nicholas Pooran, who is certainly not amongst the runs with no luck on his side. Otherwise, on a whole, Punjab looks like a much-balanced side.
The Kolkata franchise is having the horror of a season, with all their batsmen struggling for form. Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi started the new season spectacularly but have failed to capitalize on their starts in recent matches. The management might look into replacing Shakib Al Hassan for Sunil Narine, who also failed to make an impact in recent matches.
Probable playing XI
Punjab Kings (PBKS); Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Chris Gayle/Dawid Malan, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Fabian Allen, Jalaj Saxena, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy
KL Rahul seems to have rediscovered his form being one of the leading run-scorers in the tournament, Varun Chakravarthy has also made impactful performances for the Kolkata franchise. Nitish Rana and Chris Gayle are our other must-picks.
PBKS vs KKR Fantasy team
Captain and Vice-Captain Picks
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