All-time meetings: Kolkata Knight Riders W10, Kings XI Punjab W4 Last meeting: Kolkata Knight Riders beat Kings XI Punjab by 31 runs
THE TEAM NEWS
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Coach: Jacques Kallis
Captain: Dinesh Karthik
The Knight Riders got their IPL 2019 campaign off to a winning start in dramatic fashion as Andre Russell walloped an unbeaten 49 from 19 balls to lead his side to a six-wicket victory with just two balls to spare against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The pitch in Kolkata certainly favoured the batsmen in that opening game although they may consider changes potentially to the bowling attack but the very fact they have all-rounders like Russell and Narine gives them plenty of options to switch things around if required.
Lockie Ferguson was extremely unlucky in that first match and his bowling figures did not reflect how well he bowled so he should be handed another opportunity ahead of Harry Gurney, and there is every chance they will name an unchanged team for this one.
KINGS XI PUNJAB
Coach: Mike Hesson
Captain: Ravi Ashwin
Kings XI also got their IPL 2019 season off to a winning start as they beat Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on Monday but it was not without controversy after skipper Ravi Ashwin ran out non-striker Jos Buttler after the English batman was out of his crease which sparked a batting collapse.
Ashwin’s actions have sparked plenty of criticism throughout the cricketing world so it will be interesting to see how he responds in this match although the spinner was unrepentant for his actions post-match.
Star man Chris Gayle was the hero for the team in that victory, but there was still plenty of room for improvement with bat and ball as they make the trip to Kolkata and Sam Curran especially will be hoping to do better here although he did bowl an outstanding final over to take a couple of key wickets despite conceding 52 runs from his four overs.
There are plenty of similarities between these two teams and their style of play and they are both coming off opening victories. Kolkata have dominated previous meetings between the two teams and they appear to have the edge in quality once again here too. Barring any miracles from Chris Gayle, conditions should favour the long KKR batting line-up and the flexibility with their bowling unit – a luxury that Kings XI’s do not possess – should also help them to victory here.
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