|Match Date:||25th April, Thursday|
|Match Timing:||8:00 PM|
|Expected Crowd Turnout:||60,000|
|Match Venue:||Eden Garden, Kolkata|
The Match 43 of the VIVO Indian Premier League 2019 will see Kolkata Knight Riders welcome Rajasthan Royals at the iconic Eden Garden in Kolkata. Having started the campaign on a winning note, KKR’s progress in the league was cut short by five consecutive defeats.
From the initial high of No.2, they are now placed 6th in the table and at a grave risk of missing out of the Playoffs. Seventh-placed Rajasthan Royals face a similar race against time to make it to the top 4. Both teams will, thus, be looking to win this all-important fixture.
Here is the detailed analysis of the Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals IPL match:
|Key Players in form||KKR – Chris Lynn, Andre Russell|
RR – Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith
|Weather Conditions||28 ℃, 80% Humidity, Winds up to 14 km/hr. No signs of rains.|
|Toss Advantage||Team chasing has won equal matches as the team defending last season.|
|Pitch Conditions||Flat, Batting-friendly pitch. High humidity and dew may affect bowling later in the evening.|
|Venue Stats||Average Total (2018): 161|
Highest Total (2018): 210/6 (MI)
Last Match: RCB 213/4 | 203/5 KKR
|Ground Size:||Side Boundaries: 64 m, Straight Boundary: 82 m|
|Injury Updates||KKR – Matt Kelly has been roped in for an injured Anrich Nortje (Shoulder). Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti (Sandeep Warrier will be replacing him) are out as well.|
RR – Jos Buttler has returned to England for international duties and compatriot Ben Stokes is expected to follow the suit.
|Home Advantage||Kolkata Knight Riders|
|Head-to-Head||KKR 10 – 9 RR (1 Draw)|
|Form||KKR – L L L L L|
RR– L W L W L
Chris Lynn, Nitish Rana, Robin Uthappa, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Sunil Narine, Prasidh Krishna, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Harry Gurney.
Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Ashton Turner, Stuart Binny, Riyan Parag, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni.
KKR vs RR Preview
Kolkata Knight Riders might be headed for a big trouble. They have lost their last five games on the trot. The downfall, which started with a defeat against Chennai Super Kings, has only intensified over the last few days. The defeats would be disappointing for a team that was second in the league table after the opening 4 games.
In their latest defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad, all of KKR’s shortcomings were on full display. The most prominent of them – an underperforming batting. Having hit 183, 218, and 185 in their opening three games, Kolkata’s explosive batting was the talk of the town. However, fast forward to the eighth match and it now looks to be their weakness.
The famed middle order of Nitish Rana, Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik are not clicking. Their scores in the games against CSK- 108 and 161- clearly exemplify this particular conjecture. Is too much reliance on Andre Russell the cause of this problem?
A relatively incapable bowling attack was always a headache for KKR. The spin trio of Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, and Piyush Chawla look a shadow of the players they were last year. Not much help is received from Lockie Ferguson and Harry Gurney as well. With other teams like DC, KXIP, and SRH performing better, KKR are in grave danger of missing out on the playoff spots if they don’t lift themselves up. In fact, Kolkata has the unwanted distinction of scalping the least number of wickets in 2019 IPL.
Thus, winning Thursday’s match against RR will be the key to save KKR’s plummeting season.
Rajasthan Royals made an incredible comeback last season by making it to the Playoff spots in spite of winning just 3 matches of the opening 9. The situation that lies before them in 2019 is not much different as well. The team will have to win the rest of their 4 matches (preferably with big margins) to have any hopes of making it to the last 4.
The management took a crucial decision of handing Steven Smith the captain’s armband from Ajinkya Rahane. And surprisingly, it made an instant impact. The Australian skipper smartly guided the team to a 5-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians. In fact, the move seemed to have worked for relieving Rahane itself, since the Mumbai-based batsman scored a well-deserved century against DC.
Very happy for Ajinkya Rahane. Great attitude, joy to watch when he gets going
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 22, 2019
Although they unfortunately lost the match, Rajasthan Royals have shown a lot of positive signs this season. The revival of veterans like Ajinkya Rahane and Stuart Binny along with the discovery of young talent like Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal and Riyan Parag being some the highlights. Rajasthan Royals are a talented team and can still make it to the Playoffs, only if they keep on performing the way they did against Mumbai.
Going by sheer momentum and form, Rajasthan Royals are in a better position to win this fixture. They have in-form batsmen and a better performing bowling attack.
Eden Gardens has a flat natured pitch. Add to that the underperforming bowlers of both the sides and you have a high-scoring match at hand (as was evident in the last match between RCB and KKR when the scores crossed the 400 run mark). Thus, try to choose between 4-5 batsmen. All-rounders will have an important role to play as well. Choosing bowlers with respectable economy rates (such as Shreyas Gopal and Jofra Archer) is recommended.
KKR vs RR Dream11 Prediction Team 1
Chris Lynn, Nitish Rana, Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, Andre Russell, Stuart Binny, Riyan Parag, Piyush Chawla, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal.
KKR vs RCB Dream11 Prediction Team 2
Sanju Samson, Chris Lynn, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Steven Smith, Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Riyan Rarag, Harry Gurney, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer.