KKR banking on bowlers to muzzle RR juggernaut
It’s time to head to Dubai for our third match as Kolkata Knight Riders gear up for Rajasthan Royals in the Dream XI IPL 2020. Both teams will be getting into the game high in confidence. The contest won’t be easy for any of the two sides as both will be exposed to Dubai’s conditions for the first time. While KKR have played their first two matches in Abu Dhabi, Rajasthan had their encounters in Sharjah.
Talking ahead of the match on the challenges teams might face with unfamiliar conditions, Eoin Morgan said, “I don’t think any side will go unbeaten (this season) given the challenges across all three grounds. No team will have their own control over the wickets.”
Rajasthan and Kolkata have faced each other 21 times, out of which both have won 10 matches each, with one yielding no results. Good news is that in the last five meetings, Kolkata have won four times against Steve Smith’s boys. In the UAE conditions, however, Rajasthan won the last encounter against KKR back in 2014.
What might be a trigger point for KKR at this moment is the sheer form Rajasthan will be carrying into the match. They have won both their matches and gone on to score 200+ runs in each of them, with the last one being a record chase of 224 against Kings XI Punjab. Even though Jos Buttler didn’t fire in the last match, captain Smith, Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia showed a blistering form against the Punjab team.
At this moment Rajasthan’s top order may look ominous, but Morgan feels if KKR bowlers can pick up where they left off in the last game, KKR can certainly win their first match in Dubai.
“The bowlers bounced back beautifully from the first game. We need to continue to build and learn and use confidence from the previous game. Rajasthan are a very well drilled and experienced side. I think we should focus on our own game to start with,” said Morgan.
“We need to improve on our previous game and execute our plans for Smith, Buttler and Samson. Honestly, they are good players and we have to get them out. If they bat for 20 overs, particularly Buttler and Samson, we will lose the game. Smith is also in fine form. But hopefully we can build on the last win and produce our first win in Dubai,” added the flamboyant English batsman.
Bowling, of course, will be one of the major aspects KKR will count on. The pacers, led by Pat Cummins, have done a great job in the last match. Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine have also spun their magic. But what remains a concern is Kuldeep Yadav’s form. The chinaman has remained wicketless and even failed to check runs. His return to form is a need of the hour to up the ante in KKR’s bowling attack. Narine has been pretty effective against the RR batsmen in the past, picking up 9 wickets in 11 matches. It will be interesting to see if he joins Cummins with the new ball from the other end today. For Rajasthan, strike bowler Jaydev Unadkat hasn’t really impressed so far. Varun Aaron may get a chance to lead the bowling attack, considering he won the Man of the Match award for his spell of 2/20 against KKR in their last face-off.
With Shubman Gill and Morgan displaying good form against SRH, the focus will also be on Narine, who failed to fire in the opening slot on both occasions. Skipper Dinesh Karthik, who promoted himself at No.3, would look to get among some runs as well after falling for a naught in the last match. Big hitter Andre Russell hasn’t got much of a scope yet to show his muscle power.
Will Tuesday be the day for him? TIME WILL TELL!
Kolkata Knight Riders will play Rajasthan Royals at 7.30 PM IST in Dubai. Stay tuned on our social media handles for all the latest updates.