HEAD-TO-HEAD All-time meetings: Rajasthan Royals W7, Kolkata Knight Riders W6, No result 1
THE TEAM NEWS
Coach: Paddy Upton
Captain: Ajinkya Rahane
Rajasthan finally clicked as a team and the result of that was a fantastic win over the much-fancied Royal Challengers Bangalore. The Royals powered to 217/4 and although the final win was only by 19 runs, RCB never really looked likely to threaten the mammoth total so confidence in the camp is high.
The batting group finally produced a consistent performance for Rajasthan with D’Arcy Short the only man missing out (11 from 17) and he looks short on time at the crease still. Sanju Samson was electric with his power hitting, scoring 92* from just 45 balls and he now sits atop the leading runs score board having scored 178 runs from just three matches, averaging 89 and striking at a very healthy 163.3.
Expect the Royals to be rewarded with a stable line-up for this match against KKR, and although D’Arcy Short has had a poor start to the tournament (21 runs from 3 matches), coach Paddy Upton should stick by his man in the hope he can bounce back.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Coach: Jacques Kallis
Captain: Dinesh Karthik
KKR produced one of the most dominant displays of IPL 2018 so far as they comprehensively beat Delhi in every way possible, scoring 200/9 and then restricting them to just 129. Much like Rajasthan, it was pleasing to see a more consistent performance from the KKR top order as they set a good platform and for Andre Russell to yet again explode at the end of the innings. Russell scored 41 from just 12 balls in a blistering innings that sees him now sit second on the total runs scored and sits on top of the number of sixes scored for the tournament with a staggering 19.
As impressive as the batting order was for KKR, the most pleasing aspect for Kolkata was the bowling performance. Sunil Narine once again shows that he is currently far and away the best bowler in the IPL. This season has seen Narine take seven wickets but it is the economy rate of just 5.46 that makes him a stand out.
Much like Rajasthan, expect KKR to go in with an unchanged line-up, rewarding their players for an all-round dominant performance.
Both teams are coming off massive victories and although inconsistency has plagued both teams so far this IPL, their previous matches showed that they are both capable of matching it with the best. The time has come for D’Arcy Short to prove his worth in the IPL and make a big score or at least a start to assist Sanju Samson who has carried the batting for Rajasthan so far this year.
KKR possess the perfect tonic for this however with Sunil Narine once again dominating the IPL. Much like Samson and the Royals, the bowling unit of KKR will need to support Narine to ensure the match against Delhi was not a one-off event. Although KKR and Rajasthan have won the same number of matches, KKR have fared well with the bat all tournament, aside from a poor performance against Sunrisers. Expect KKR to get the job done again and move up the ladder.