The winless streak, that has now extended to four losses in a row, began against Delhi Capitals at Brabourne and the Knight Riders will hope that it ends against them on Thursday at Wankhede, a venue that has proved to be successful with both matches they played producing wins.
However, the pitches at Wankhede have changed significantly. The first four games at the venue were won by teams chasing but the trend has been offset with the last six games producing wins for teams defending five times.
The last time these two sides met, nearly a fortnight ago in an afternoon game, the Capitals inflicted a 44-run loss on KKR with skipper Shreyas Iyer registering his maiden half-century in Purple and Gold in a high-scoring run chase.
If there’s ever a good chance to extend the head-to-head advantage, which currently stands at 16-13 in KKR’s favour, it is now more so than ever for the two-time IPL champions.
In the last game against Gujarat Titans, KKR came agonizingly close to lose by eight runs, thanks largely in part to Andre Russell’s 25-ball 48 and a four-wicket final over but the more impactful improvement came in the form of their death bowling. The Titans were set for a good finish cruising at 133-2 in the seventeenth over but Russell, Tim Southee and Shivam Mavi orchestrated a stunning collapse to snare 7 wickets for just 23 runs.
Delhi, on the other hand, are still reeling from covid-enforced absences and injuries but had no concerns beating Punjab Kings with nearly nine overs and as many wickets to spare only to lose a controversial game against Rajasthan Royals with Rovman Powell looking ominous.
Both sides will have their sights set on a win to have any hope of making it to the playoffs.
This will be Shreyas Iyer’s 50th game in the IPL as a captain with Sunil Narine eyeing his 150th IPL scalp in Purple and Gold.
Kolkata Knight Riders Squad: Sam Billings(w), Sunil Narine, Shreyas Iyer(c), Nitish Rana, Venkatesh Iyer, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Shivam Mavi, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Varun Chakaravarthy, Ajinkya Rahane, Aaron Finch, Mohammad Nabi, Pat Cummins, Sheldon Jackson, Chamika Karunaratne, Baba Indrajith, Anukul Roy, Pratham Singh, Abhijeet Tomar, Aman Hakim Khan, Ashok Sharma, Ramesh Kumar, Harshit Rana
Delhi Capitals Squad: Prithvi Shaw, David Warner, Sarfaraz Khan, Rishabh Pant(w/c), Lalit Yadav, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Rovman Powell, Kuldeep Yadav, Mustafizur Rahman, Khaleel Ahmed, Mitchell Marsh, Mandeep Singh, Srikar Bharat, Tim Seifert, Lungi Ngidi, Ashwin Hebbar, Praveen Dubey, Anrich Nortje, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Chetan Sakariya, Ripal Patel, Yash Dhull, Vicky Ostwal