IPL 2018, Match 58, Eliminator, Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals - Match Prediction

Published - 23 May 2018, 04:19 PM

Kolkata Knight Riders
Photo by Saikat Das /SPORTZPICS for BCCI

It will be a must-win clash for both Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) as they meet each other in the eliminator clash. It will be a knockout game. The winner of the match ultimately will play Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier two on May 25.

Knight Riders have been quite impressive in their last few encounters. They have played some quality cricket in this season which eventually enabled them to qualify for the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Jaipur-based outfit managed to progress through to the playoffs. Several situations went in their favour. However, they managed to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in their final group game which helped them progress through to the next level.

Moreover, they needed Mumbai Indians to lose their final group game and that was exactly what happened.

Knight Riders have been bolstered by the return of form by chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav. He bowled quite brilliantly against the Rajasthan in the last group game between the two teams.

Kuldeep will be very crucial to Kolkata’s chances in the playoffs. On the other hand, Sunil Narine will undoubtedly be the trump card for Kolkata.

The wrist-spinner has been a champion player for them over the years and has also managed to perform exceedingly well in this edition of the tournament.

Narine has been quite impressive with both bat and ball. He has got Kolkata off to flying starts on most occasions.

With the ball, he has yet again managed to weave a magic around the Rajasthan batsmen.

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Kolkata Knight Riders Kings XI Punjab IPL 2018
Kolkata Knight Riders would face Kings XI Punjab in Indore. Image Courtesy: BCCI

Meanwhile, Rajasthan will feel lucky to get into the playoffs. They have made a late surge in the tournament, It was largely possible due to the efforts of Jos Buttler. However, he won’t be available for the playoffs due to the national assignment.

In the absence of Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane has to take the responsibility at the top of the order.

Shreyas Gopal was at his sensational best and ended up bagging four wickets in the previous game against Royal Challengers.

Kiwi pick Ish Sodhi also has a big role to play. However, Rajasthan must be well aware of the fact that they will be a little less of man management in the absence of  Ben Stokes and Buttler. But having said that, they have some good players and will be hoping to come good.

Tam Combinations-

Kolkata Knight Riders:

There is a possibility of Piyush Chawla making a comeback in the playing XI at the expense of Shivam Mavi.

Simon Katich made it clear that they might unleash three spinners at Kolkata and hence Piyush might make a return.

Predicted XI: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik (c&wk), Andre Russell, Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Javon Searles, Piyush Chawla, Prasidh Krishna, Kuldeep Yadav

Rajasthan Royals:

In the absence of Buttler, it remains to be seen where Heinrich Klaasen bats. D’Arcy Short is expected to warm the benches too.

Predicted XI: Ajinkya Rahane (c), Rahul Tripathi, Sanju Samson, Heinrich Klassen (wk), Krishnappa Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Stuart Binny, Ish Sodhi, Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Laughlin

Match Prediction:

Kolkata Knight Riders will start as the overwhelming favourites for an evening encounter.

Hence, I will also go with KKR on Wednesday evening. In the absence of Buttler and Stokes, there is no doubt about the fact that KKR has their nose slightly ahead.

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