The play-off race in the Dream 11 IPL 2020 is turning out to be more of snake and ladder game than just a mere ‘tough’ fight. Currently there are four teams tied on 12 points and everything might boil down to the net run rate (NRR) in the end. This is where Kolkata Knight Riders can hear the alarm bells ringing as they head into their last group stage match against Rajasthan Royals in Dubai with a must-win scenario encircling them.
KKR at this moment have the lowest net run rate (-0.467) among all four and they can’t be content with just a win anymore; they need a thumping victory over Rajasthan to improve their net run rate and give destiny a chance to fight back. Rajasthan, too, are on 12 points but with a tad better NRR (-0.377).
Meanwhile, Kings XI Punjab, who are one of the four teams in the hunt, face Chennai Super Kings in the afternoon game today and the outcome of the match will be extremely crucial as they boast a superior NRR (-0.133). Even if KKR win today with a huge margin, their fate will largely depend on Sunrisers Hyderabad’s performance on Tuesday. SRH have the second best NRR (+0.555) so far this season and if they win against Mumbai Indians, that will be curtains for KKR in 2020.
Today’s game against Rajasthan will be a hard one as they are coming into the match on the back of two consecutive victories, that too against the in-form KXIP and Mumbai Indians. On the other hand, KKR have suffered losses in the last two outings and Captain Eoin Morgan will need to pull all the strings to ensure KKR end the group stage on a high.
For Rajasthan, Ben Stokes’ form with the bat and Jofra Archer’s consistency with the ball will be a matter of concern for KKR. The Knights will largely depend on Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill to continue with their form and help KKR build a strong momentum early on in the innings.
The last time KKR and RR clashed, Kolkata registered a dominating 37-run victory. The bowling unit fired in unison to defend a 175-run target comfortably. From Pat Cummins to Varun Chakravarthy – everyone picked up wickets and most of them kept their spells economical to restrict Steve Smith’s side. Today, for sure, we will be needing those magical spells if we are to stay alive in this heated play-off battle. Choosing the Playing XI will be quite a daunting task, as having an extra batsman at the cost of a bowling option didn’t pay off that well in the last match.
Talking about overall head-to-head records, KKR have a slight edge with 11 wins in 21 matches (2 ties). In the last five encounters, KKR have emerged winners on four occasions.
Kolkata Knight Riders take on Rajasthan Royals at 7.30PM IST in Dubai on Sunday. Stay tuned on our social pages for the latest updates. Korbo, lorbo, jeetbo!