KKR Vs PBKS, Match Preview
Kolkata Knight Riders are currently the team to beat among those fighting in mid-table. They recently overturned Delhi Capitals, who has one of the strongest line-ups in the league, and are marching strongly towards the playoffs. KKR has a higher net-run-rate than the other sides below them, and can hold on to their fourth spot even with a defeat.
For Punjab, the task is steeper. They need a string of wins to keep themselves in the fight and a loss will virtually knock them out of the tournament. They took time to find their right combination, with both Bishnoi, and Gayle. With Gayle leaving the bio-bubble, PBKS now has to find a new combination that suits them, leaving them unsettled again.
PBKS have been using players outside their preferred spots, Pooran isn’t doing the job as a finisher, and Shah Rukh Khan hasn’t been given a go. They are a more defensive now, which is what KKR changed with their side as they entered the UAE.
KKR Vs PBKS, Qualifaction Scenario
If KKR lose the current fixture, but win the last two games they still have a great chance. They will end on fourteen points with two wins. A strong net-run-rate however, will help them stay in the top four.
Punjab need three wins to get them to fourteen points, and will also need a lot of results to go their way. A loss effectively ends the sides campaign.
KKR Vs PBKS, Team News
Andre Russell is still injured and likely to sit out. Lockie Ferguson limped off in the game against Delhi, but his injury isn’t as serious. He will play the game, unless KKR decide to rest him as precautionary measure.
Mayank Agarwal is also likely to feature after a stiff neck. Chris Gayle’s absence opens up a spot, which could be filled by Fabien Allen. With the middle-order struggling, Allen can come in and help finish games.
KKR Vs PBKS, Predicted XIs
Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Venkatesh Iyer, 3 Rahul Tripathi, 4 Nitish Rana, 5 Eoin Morgan (capt), 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Sunil Narine, 8 Tim Southee, 9 Ben Cutting/Lockie Ferguson, 10 Prasidh Krishna/Sandeep Warrier, 11 Varun Chakravarthy
Punjab Kings: 1 KL Rahul (capt, wk), 2 Mayank Agarwal/Mandeep Singh, 3 Aiden Markram, 4 Nicholas Pooran, 5 Deepak Hooda/Shahrukh Khan, 6 Fabian Allen, 7 Harpreet Brar, 8 Ravi Bishnoi, 9 Nathan Ellis, 10 Arshdeep Singh, 11 Mohammed Shami
KKR Vs PBKS, Players to Watch out for
Eoin Morgan is still struggling for form. His captaincy has been good, but his returns with the bat will concern both KKR and England. He is coming higher up the order in a bid to spend some more time at the wicket, but his innings have not been long enough. With pressure increasing, the captain will have to find a way out of his rut, and help KKR go further in the tournament.
Fabien Allen is a magnificent finisher in the shorter formats. He is known for his ability to come in the last couple overs and blast bowlers out of the park. With Chris Gayle out, his inclusion is likely. His presence in the middle-order is going to be crucial for PBKS as they are struggling once their top order goes.
KKR Vs PBKS, Pitch Report
The surface has given decent balance to bat and ball. Scores aren’t too high, and bowling first is a better option.