Kolkata and Rajasthan face each other in a survival match on Tuesday as both the teams look for the final two spots in the playoffs.
Cricket news: Can Kolkata continue their batting exploits against Rajasthan or will the opponents carry on with their winning streak
It is almost the end phase of the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League and both the teams, who are tied at 12 points, have found late momentum in the tournament.
Kolkata Knight Riders have bounced back from back-to-back defeats at the hands of Mumbai and posted the tournament’s fourth highest total of 245/6 against Kings XI Punjab, eventually winning the match by 31 runs.
Rajasthan Royals have also got a hat-trick of wins, thanks to the performance of their wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Butler, who had been the star of the show and was declared the Man-of-the-match in all the three occasions.
Butler made an unbeaten 94 to help his team secure a seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in the previous match. In the process, he made consecutive five half-centuries, a record which is jointly held by Virender Sehwag.
Butler’s scores in the last five innings read 67, 51, 82, 95*, 94*. He along with his national teammate, the English all-rounder Ben Stokes, can pose a major threat for the Knight Riders.
KKR skipper, Dinesh Karthik, will heavily depend on his spinners to dismiss this English pair quickly and cheaply.
Rajasthan skipper Ajinkya Rahane need to return to his form to give his team stability, as he has scored just 280 runs from 12 innings with a woeful average of 28.00.
KKR’s batting is in prime condition with the likes of Sunil Narine, Dinesh Karthik and U-19 world cup sensation Shubman Gill, all performing to their fullest potential.
Narine had scored 75 off 36 balls in the previous match, and his duel with Butler will be one of the key contests of the game.
Karthik, who scored a 23-ball 50 in the previous match, is also silently doing his job as he has got 371 runs to his name with a healthy average of 46.37.
KKR would likely to seem more desperate for the win, as if they finish third or fourth in the table, they will get the chance to play on their home-ground Eden Gardens in the Eliminator and Second Qualifier match.
Venue – Eden Gardens, Kolkata
KKR Probable XI: Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Javon Searles, two of Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi and Piyush Chawla, Prasidh Krishna.
RR Probable XI: D’Arcy Short, Jos Buttler (wk), Ajinkya Rahane (c), Sanju Samson, Ben Stokes, Stuart Binny, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni.