In the 52nd encounter of the 2019 Indian Premier League, Kings XI Punjab play Kolkata Knight Riders at Mohali. The winner of the match will strengthen their claim to qualify for the IPL Qualifiers starting from May 7th, while the loser will be out of the Qualifiers contention.
Punjab are currently on a three-match losing streak with their last win coming against Rajasthan Royals, whereas KKR finally emerged victorious against Mumbai Indians after a six-match winless run.
Kings XI Punjab (Probable XI): KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicolas Pooran, David Miller, Ravichandran Ashwin (C), Prabhsimran Singh (WK), Murugan Ashwin, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh.
Kolkata Knight Riders (Probable XI): Shubman Gill, Chris Lynn, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (C, WK), Robin Uthappa, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Sandeep Warrier, Harry Gurney.
KL Rahul vs Kuldeep Yadav
With 5half-centuries and 1 century already in IPL 2019, KL Rahul has scored 520 runs in 12 matches this season and has been the batting mainstay for KXIP. Being guaranteed a World Cup spot for India after his heroics against Mumbai, Rahul would try to score more runs to get into the playing XI of the Indian team after Rohit Sharma has been seen to be out of form in the last couple of months.
Averaging an impressive 42.31 in his overall IPL career, Rahul has amassed more than 1904 runs in 65 matches with an S/R of 137.17. With 15 fifties and 1 century in IPL, along with having a high-score of 100*, Rahul is the pillar of Punjab’s batting line-up.
One of the rising stars in International cricket much is expected from Kuldeep Yadav this year as he was touted by many to be one of the front-runners to bag the Purple Cap this year. Currently positioned No. 5 in T20I rankings, Kuldeep has been a regular player for KKR since 2016.
In the 39 innings that the slow left-arm chinaman has played in, Kuldeep has managed to pick up 39 wickets at an average of 29.33 with an economy rate of 8.33. He has 1 four-wicket haul to his name and although these figures don’t justify the potential that Kuldeep has, but one needs to understand that much of the match that he had played in was before his International debut.
Ravichandran Ashwin vs Andre Russell
Ravichandran Ashwin needs no introduction to cricket fans. The 2016 ICC Cricketer of the Year has picked up 124 wickets in 137 matches with a decent average of 26.20. With an economy of 6.77, Ashwin is not only a wicket-taking bowler but also is economical as he curbs the flow of runs. Having already picked up 14 wickets with an economy of 7.21 in IPL 12, Ashwin is leading his team as an example.
30-year old Jamaican, Andre Russell, has emerged as one of the decisive players for the Kolkata based KKR team over the years and the same has been seen in this year as well. Although he isn’t consistent, but his ability to take the match away from the hands of oppositions once he is set makes him one of the most feared players in the entire tournament.
In the 62 IPL matches that he has played in his career so far, Russell has scored 1376 runs in 50 innings with a par average of 34.4 considering he comes out to bat at No.6 or No.7 position and has so far managed to remain not-out 10 times with a whooping strike-rate of 186.96.
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Although the match is being played at the Eden Gardens, but considering the balance of both of the teams, Team CricWizz expects Kings XI Punjab to win the match. This is simply because Punjab have a far superior bowling line-up than Kolkata.
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