Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will host Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League 2020 (IPL) clash at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday. KKR will enter the match at the back of a narrow defeat against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). But the resolved opening pair for KKR will be a big positive for the side.
KKR will back Rahul Tripathi and Shubman Gill to open for the side which means Sunil Narine can play the role of a floater as per requirement of the side. The major concern for KKR will be Andre Russell’s batting form although he has done well with the ball. Dinesh Karthik has also been a cause of concern for the side as he has not been able to contribute for the side. Let us have a look at how the side will shape up for the game.
Rahul Tripathi looked solid at the top of the order in his debut game as a opener. He was adjudged the man-of-the-match for playing the role of a sheet anchor. An added benefit with Tripathi is that he can bat lower down the order for the side as well which will come in handy for KKR. If he gets going with Shubman Gill, the duo can forge a big partnership for the side.
Shubman Gill will remain the batsman to watch out for in the KKR unit. The young batsman played a match-winning knock in the last match against SunRisers Hyderabad. He can provide the much needed composure to the unit. If Gill gets going, KKR can get to a good start as he can lay the foundation for the side.
The onus will be on Sunil Narine to get KKR off to a fiery start. But Narine struggled in the previous match and wasn’t at his usual best. Narine was seemingly struggling with the bat and it will be a test for him in UAE as ball will not come to the bat easily. Narine however can prove to be economical with the ball.
Nitish Rana, a T20 specialist, will be a crucial cog in the KKR top-order. He can adjust his game and play shots according to the need of the game. The Kolkata franchise will expect him to fire at the top of the order.
KKR captain Dinesh Karthik add depth to their batting line-up. He can be extremely crucial in terms of scoring runs and making vital calls for the side. Karthik can also promote himself in the line-up as per the need of the team.
Swashbuckling West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell has been a key member of the KKR side. He can change a game on his own if he gets going. Russell is the most valuable player of the KKR side but failed to make it count in the previous match. He will be expected to come up with a better show against SRH.
England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan was bought by the KKR franchise to add depth to the side. He was also seen assisting Dinesh Karthik as the captain in the previous match. Morgan was unimpressive in the last game but he will look to make it count in the match against SRH.
Australia all-rounder Pat Cummins showed his firepower with the bat but failed to make it count with the ball. Captain Dinesh Karthik had said that Cummins did not have enough time to train and he will look to comeback stronger in the match against SRH.
KKR’s lone specialist spinner Kuldeep Yadav will look to make it count in the match against SRH. In the opening game against Mumbai Indians where the pitch favoured the batsman, Kuldeep Yadav failed to make the most of his capabilities. But he will look to comeback stronger in the match against SRH.
Varun Chakravarthy will add to the spin options for KKR setup. He was brilliant in the last game for the Kolkata frachise. He picked up one wicket and gave 25 runs at an economy rate of 6.20. Chakravarthy will look to weave his magic against the Rajasthan Royals and derail their strong batting line-up.
Rising fast bowler Shivam Mavi bowled exceptionally well in the death overs for KKR in the previous match. He will again spearhead the pace attack for the franchise and will look to make the most of his abilities.