Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) campaign has gone from bad to worse in the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The team, led by Eoin Morgan, is currently placed at the bottom of the points table with a net run rate of -0.675 after their six-wicket loss at the hands of Rajasthan Royals (RR) on Saturday, April 24.
After their win against the David Warner-captained Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), KKR have lost four in a row. The Knights are next set to face the Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Monday, April 26 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
The PBKS, in the meantime, would be high on confidence after they beat the five-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) by nine wickets with 14 balls left at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. KL Rahul’s men would now want to garner back-to-back wins.
Match – Punjab Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders – 21th match
Venue – Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
Time – 7:30 PM IST, 02:00 PM GMT
Where to watch live – Star Sports Network, Hotstar
The pitch in Ahmedabad has been suitable for batting. The five-match T20I series between India and England took place at the venue and it turned out to be a high-scoring series.
The track isn’t expected to change nature and therefore batting second should be the way forward. The temperature will be around 37 degrees Celsius. The skies will be clear with no chances of rain.
Avg first innings score: 171 (5 T20 matches at the Narendra Modi Stadium)
Record of chasing teams: Won – 3, Lost – 2, Tied – 0
Probable Playing XIs:
KL Rahul (C & WK), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Moises Henriques, Shahrukh Khan, Fabian Allen, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ravi Bishnoi
Bench: Mandeep Singh, Dawid Malan, Sarfaraz Khan, Harpreet Brar, Saurabh Kumar, Prabhsimran Singh, Ishan Porel, Chris Jordan, Utkarsh Singh, Riley Meredith, Jalaj Saxena, Jhye Richardson, Murugan Ashwin
Kolkata Knight Riders
Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi
Bench: Karun Nair, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Venkatesh Iyer, Ben Cutting, Pawan Negi, Sheldon Jackson, Tim Seifert, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Vaibhav Arora, Sandeep Warrier, Harbhajan Singh, Shakib Al Hasan, Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Played – 27 | Punjab Kings– 9 | Kolkata Knight Riders– 18 |N/R – 0
At neutral venues
Played – 9 | Punjab Kings – 3 | Kolkata Knight Riders – 6 |N/R – 0
Probable best batsman of the match
KL Rahul– Punjab Kings
KL Rahul has reasonable numbers against the Kolkata-based franchise in the IPL. In nine innings, the right-hander has notched 297 runs at an average and strike rate of 37.13 and 147.76 respectively.
The Bangalore-born also has four half-centuries to go with the highest score of 74. In the ongoing tournament, he has scored 221 runs at an average and strike rate of 55.25 and 133.13 respectively.
Varun Chakravarthy– Kolkata Knight Riders
Varun Chakravarthy has been one of the shining lights in a rather disappointing KKR bowling attack. The off-spinner has picked up six wickets from five games at an economy rate of 8.05.
But against PBKS, he might want to improve on his numbers. In eight overs, he has picked up only one wicket at an economy rate of 7.63. If KKR have to make a comeback, Chakravarthy needs to keep his form intact.
Today’s match prediction: The team, batting second to win the match.
Disclaimer: This prediction is based on the understanding, analysis, and instinct of the author. While making your prediction, consider the points mentioned, and make your own decision.
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