Rajasthan Royals fought till the very end in both their opening games. They narrowly lost against PK in their first game. RR valiantly stayed in the chase of a gargantuan total. They made amends in the second game against DC. Their tactic of taking pace off the ball worked wonderfully well. RR restricted DC to a below-par score of 147. They were struggling at one stage (42-5) chasing the total. Their foreign players, David Miller and Chris Morris bailed them out. But they came a cropper against CSK. RR were completely outplayed and this must have dented their confidence. Their bowling came short and their batting looked clueless. RCB trashed RR in their last game. RR lost by 10 wickets to RCB. It will be difficult for them to stage a comeback.
Kolkata Knight Riders are languishing at the bottom half of the points table. They made a solid start to the tournament defeating SRH in their opening game. But since then KKR have flattered to deceive. They lost a match against MI from a winning position. KKR failed to score 31 runs in the last 5 overs with 7 wickets in hand. Their bizarre tactics cost them the game against RCB. They conceded 204 runs on the Chennai strip. The score eventually proved to be way above par. KKR were 31-5 chasing 221 against CSK. They staged a wonderful counter-attack to come back in the game. But they eventually lost out since they kept losing wickets. KKR will take inspiration from the previous game to come out all guns blazing against RR in this game.
RR vs KKR: Favourites?
RR are clearly struggling. 3 of their foreign imports are not with the team. They are left with just 5 overseas options to choose from. Their bowling has struggled in 3 out of the 4 games while their batting has come a cropper in 2 games. RR has not had a perfect game yet. Their captain, Sanju Samson needs to step up. His inconsistency is not helping RR’s squad. RR need inspiration from their senior players. They have an improbable task ahead of themselves.
KKR too have won just 1 out of their 4 games. They are searching for a win that would galvanise the whole side. Sunil Narine coming in place of Shakib Al Hasan has provided a certain impetus to the side. Their big players rose to the occasion against CSK. Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, and Pat Cummins staged a wonderful comeback. KKR will be taking a lot of heart from their performance. They head into this game in a better mental space as compared to RR.
Which players will be match-winners in this game?
Chris Morris holds a great record against Russell. The KKR allrounder averages only 10.67 against Morris. RR pacer has dismissed Russell thrice in 20 balls.
Sunil Narine holds a fabulous record against Sanju Samson. He has dismissed him thrice and has given away just 39 runs in 45 balls.
Andre Russell showed glimpses of coming back into form in his whirlwind knock against CSK. He will fancy his chances against a weak RR bowling lineup.
Sanju Samson has had a quiet few games post his century in the first game. His fans and critics are upset in equal measure owing to his inconsistency. This might just be the game where he silences everyone.
Probable Playing XI:
Rajasthan Royals predicted XI:
Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (WK), David Miller, Shivam Dube, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Chris MoKKRis, Shreyas Gopal, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya
Kolkata Knight Riders predicted XI:
Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan, Sunil Narine, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna
What do stats say about RR vs KKR?
RR and KKR have played 23 IPL games against each other.
RR has won 10 matches. KKR has won 12 games. 1 game did not produce a result.
RR’s highest score against RR is 199. KKR’s highest score against RR is 191.
RR’s lowest score against RR is 81. KKR’s lowest score against RR is 125.
Wankhede wicket has been a batting beauty. The initial few overs have been sticky and teams have found it difficult to counter the seam and swing on offer. If teams can manage the first powerplay without losing wickets upfront, then there is a huge score for taking.
A high of 33 degrees and a low of 27 degrees is expected. There are no chances of rain. This being a day game team winning the toss will want to bat first.
175 is the average score at this venue.
It is a battle for elusive points between RR and KKR. KKR hold a slight edge leading into this game.