With two successive wins under the belt, Kolkata Knight Riders are eager to keep the momentum at their home ground when they meet Kings XI Punjab on Saturday.
VIVO IPL 2018: “Feels good to get two wins on the trot. Slowly things are going in a good direction,” says Karthik
Lots of questions arose regarding new skipper Dinesh Karthik’s decisions, when Kolkata had lost two games in a row against Chennai and Hyderabad.
Especially in the CSK game when the under-confident R Vinay Kumar was given the final over. Even the decision to play Shubman Gill at No. 7 is not met with good views.
But amidst all these, Karthik and Co. has managed to bounce back and win two games in a row courtesy of Karthik’s fearless decisions.
Expert use of spin bowling and the persistence to use Sunil Narine as opener has worked wonders. Nitish Rana, Robin Uthappa, Andre Russell and the skipper himself has been in great form.
However the pace battery has not yet fired properly. Tom Curran has kept Mitchell Johnson out of the playing eleven while Shivam Mavi is consistently progressing. Another thing to worry for the franchise is out-of-form Chris Lynn.
KKR’s thorn in the path of victory will definitely be Chris Gayle whose back-to-back innings of 33-ball 63 and 63-ball 104 has proved that he is not yet finished.
Batsmen like KL Rahul and Karun Nair have also been in great form. The bowling department is led by pacers like Barinder Sran and Andrew Tye. Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman has also caught everyone’s imagination with his well controlled tweekers.
Skipper Ravichandran Ashwin’s out-of-the-box thinking has also proved beneficial for his team as they face Kolkata with 3 wins from the 4 games they have played.
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
KKR Probable XI: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Tom Curran, Piyush Chawla, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav
KXIP Probable XI: Lokesh Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Aaron Finch, Yuvraj Singh/Manoj Tiwary, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Andrew Tye, Barinder Sran, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Ur Rahman