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Preview: KKR look to extend their good run in Jaipur

Kolkata Knight Riders will look to keep the momentum going as they face Rajasthan Royals at Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Wednesday (April 18). After going down to Sunrisers Hyderabad in their opening game of VIVO IPL 2018, RR fought back to register two wins in a row. Our Knights, on the other hand, are coming into this game on the back of a fantastic victory against Delhi Daredevils.

Team news: Kolkata Knight Riders
A huge win over Delhi Daredevils gave our Knights the much-needed boost after two losses in a row. Majority of the top order clicked and it was a good sign for us. Contributions from Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Dinesh Karthik weren’t big, but they came at a quick rate. Rana for the first time, converted a good start to his first half-century for KKR. Andre Russell blasted his way off to a 12-ball 41 that included 6 huge sixes.

Bowling order looked much better against DD with Sunil Narine and Kuldeep Yadav picking up 3 wickets. Tom Curran, Shivam Mavi, Andre Russell & Piyush Chawla taking one apiece. It is highly unlikely that Skipper, Dinesh Karthik will make any changes with that. The execution of using the pace of Mavi will be crucial. He will be craving for more overs after bowling one and then two over in the last two matches.

Rajasthan Royals’ resurgence
Ajinkya Rahane’s men are on the spree of nine wins in a row in the last nine matches the team has played in Jaipur. Their win over Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore adds more to their confidence. Form of D’Arcy Short (despite getting run out in first two matches) will be their major concern. It might just be a matter of time when Rahul Tripathi or Jos Buttler get to open the innings and provide more support to their skipper, Ajinkya Rahane, at the other end.

RR’s bowling has been good, but their star player in Ben Stokes and Dhawal Kulkarni are yet to prove themselves with the bowl.

History
Both teams have a history of producing some of the most closely fought contests in the IPL. RR and KKR have played two tied games, with the Royals winning both of those games. They also have their second-lowest total (81 all out) against KKR.

Head to head
Overall: Matches - 15.
Won by Kolkata Knight Riders - 6.
Won by Rajasthan Royals - 9.

Last 5 games:
Won by KKR - 1.
Won by RR - 4.

The previous match between the two sides was played at Brabourne stadium, where Shane Watson’s unbeaten 104 helped RR to a nine-run win over KKR in IPL 2015.

Match Details:
18 April 2018, 20:00 Hrs (IST), Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur.