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Preview: KKR take on KXIP in must-win clash

After two losses, Kolkata Knight Riders are all set to play Kings XI Punjab in a must-win game tomorrow (May 12) at Holkar stadium, Indore. Both teams will have their eyes on the playoffs, but it’s a do-or-die situation for KKR. While KXIP on the other hand, have a better run-rate (0.097), and have an advantage of playing one match less than KKR.

A tough patch for KKR
KKR find themselves in a difficult spot two, having suffered back-to-back defeats against Mumbai Indians in the last two matches. It wasn’t just the loss that concerns the team, but the margin of defeat in their previous match (102 runs) which has put DK and the management under some pressure for the remaining three league-stage matches.

Nothing worked for KKR in their home defeat against MI. Both Piyush and Kuldeep went for runs and bowling changes in the form of Tom Curran didn’t work out either. Shivam Mavi, however, returned to the nets ahead of KKR's match against KXIP after his finger injury, and Shubman Gill, who was out with a sore knee, also batted for a long time at the nets.

Considering their position on the table, our Knights will have to regroup and aim for nothing but a win. It’s never too late to turn the tables and get the campaign back on track. 

Advantage KXIP
Despite the loss against Rajasthan Royals in their previous match, KXIP still have the upper-hand over the visitors. Both Gayle and Rahul convincingly took our bowlers apart in the previous match between the two sides at Eden Gardens. Removing both the openers will be a key for our bowlers and test their fragile middle-order. 

Ankit Rajpoot might find a place in the playing eleven replacing an expensive Mohit Sharma who went wicketless in their previous match against Rajasthan Royals. A win for KXIP will give them a chance to make it to the play-offs.

History
KKR have an edge over the home team on the head-to-head record (W/L: 14:8), but it’s the first time our knights are playing at the Holkar stadium, the current home ground of KXIP.  The home team have won 4 and lost 2 in the 6 matches they’ve played at this venue.

Head to Head
Overall: Matches - 22
Won by Kolkata Knight Riders - 14
Won by Kings XI Punjab - 8

Last 5 games
Won by KKR -3
Won by KXIP - 2
Last time we played KXIP was at the Eden Gardens. We posted a good total of 191/7 on board. In a defence to our total, KXIP openers, KL Rahul and Chris Gayle were too good and didn’t break a sweat, as they won the match by 9 wickets in the rain-curtailed game.

Match Details
12 May 2018, 16:00 (IST), Holkar Stadium, Indore.