KKR vs RR: With all bases covered, Knights aim to seal spot in play-offs
The Kolkata Knight Riders will take on the Rajasthan Royals in their final league match of the Indian Premier League on Thursday, 7th October, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. With 12 points in 13 matches, the Knights will look to seal their spot in the final four of the competition with a resounding win against the Royals.
After a six-wicket win against the Sunriser Hyderabad, the Knight Riders will enter this final league match riding high on confidence. The team is also marginally ahead in the Head to Head comparison and has won 12 out of the 23 games played thus far.
On a tricky wicket at the Dubai International Stadium during our penultimate match, Shubman Gill anchored the run chase with a sublime half-century. Along with Venkatesh Iyer and Rahul Tripathi, the youngster will hold the key for the Knight Riders at the top of the order.
The team management would be hoping for a steady foundation at the top, which will allow the formidable middle-order to launch an attack on the opposition bowling unit in the back end of the innings.
Another positive development for the boys in Purple and Gold is the fitness of their two key players, Andre Russell and Lockie Ferguson. The duo were seen honing their skills with the rest of the squad, and it will be interesting to see if they will be drafted into the playing XI.
The bowling unit will revolve around the mystery spin of Sunil Narine and Varun Chakaravarthy. In the second leg of the competition at the United Arab Emirates, the Knight Riders have picked up 46 wickets in six matches at a strike rate of 15.46, which is the best for any team in the tournament.
The duo have wreaked havoc in the second phase of the IPL and will be keen to continue their form and help the side get over the line in this crucial encounter.
On the other hand, the Royals would be keen to forget their dismal performance against the Mumbai Indians at the same venue.
While they still have a chance to make it to the playoffs based on many conditions, the team would look to focus on tomorrow's game and aim to finish the competition on a high.
With 483 runs in 13 league matches, Sanju Samson has shouldered the bulk of the responsibility of the side with the bat. However, the skipper has not found much support from the top order, leading to their downfall.
The team management would expect the pace bowling duo of Chetan Sakariya and Mustafizur Rahman to create inroads in the opposition bowling unit and help the side with early wickets in the powerplay.
KKR squad list:
Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan (c), Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Pawan Negi, Tim Seifert, Shakib al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Karun Nair, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer.
RR Squad list:
Sanju Samson (c), Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Mahipal Lomror, Kartik Tyagi, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, David Miller, Manan Vohra, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Mustafizur Rahim, Chetan Sakariya, K.C. Cariappa, Kuldip Yadav, Liam Livingstone, Akash Singh, Glenn Phillips, Glenn Phillips, Tabraiz Shamsi, Oshane Thomas, Evin Lewis.