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With the group stages of the IPL 2021 almost coming to end, the second match of the double-header Thursday is set to take place between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Rajasthan Royals at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, the match will mark the 54th clash of this season.

For Kolkata Knight Riders, the match stands to be a must-win in order to strengthen their grip over the last four spot. A win for the KKR side would mean that they cement their place at the 4th spot and it would take a mountainous task for the 5-times champions Mumbai Indians to make it to the playoffs as they find themselves well short in the net run-rate when compared to the Kolkata side.

While for the Rajasthan side a win could mean they level on the points with the other teams fighting for the 4th spot. However, their net run rate of -0.737 does no favor to their chances of prolonging their campaign.

Can the Kolkata Knight Riders make easy work of the Royals and march into the top four? Or can Sanju Samson and his men create chaos in the points table?

Match Toss Time: 17:30 Local (19:00 IST)

Match Start Time: 18:00 Local (19:30 IST)

Match Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah

Weather conditions and pitch

KKR vs RR weather and pitch

Team News

Kolkata Knight Riders showcased a rather convincing performance against the Sunrisers to win the match by a margin of 6 wickets. However, they will be still without the services of the Windies all-rounder Andre Russell, who is yet to be deemed match fit. KKR would not be complaining much though especially with the way his replacement Shakib Al Hasan kept the opponents in check.

Rajasthan Royals were completely outplayed by the Mumbai Indians after being restricted to a humiliating total of 90 runs. With everything to play for in this clash, the Rajasthan side are likely to accommodate the most expensive player in the league, Chris Morris, into the playing Xl. With Miller struggling to make any contributions, Liam Livingstone looks like a possibility in the Xl.

Probable playing Xl

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Shakib Al Hasan, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Shivam Mavi, Tim Southee, Varun Chakravarthy

Rajasthan Royals (RR): Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Shivam Dube, Glenn Phillips/Chris Morris, David Miller/Liam Livingstone, Rahul Tewatia, Kuldip Yadav, Chetan Sakariya, Shreyas Gopal, Mustafizur Rahman

Must picks

Shubman Gill showed great touch in the last encounter against the Sunrisers, we are backing him to provide the crucial points. In addition to the KKR opener, the RR skipper, Sanju Samson, who has piled on 483 runs this season is also likely to notch up the fantasy points.

The in-form all-around sensation Venkatesh Iyer and West Indies hard-hitter Evin Lewis are our other recommended must-picks.

KKR vs RR fantasy team

KKR vs RR fantasy team IPL
Cricwizz fantasy team

Captain and Vice-captain picks

Shubman Gill Sanju Samson KKR vs RR
Shubman Gill (C) and Sanju Samson (Vc)

Prediction

Rajasthan Royals would be feeling low in confidence after the disappointing show against the Mumbai side. Apart from the skipper and the openers, the side looks to be struggling. Kolkata Knight Riders will be coming out with all guns blazing in this much win encounter and we expect them to hold on.

Cricwizz predicts Kolkata Knight Riders to win the match and hold on to the 4th spot.

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