After a controversial win, Kings XI Punjab will be visiting Eden Gardens to take on the Kolkata Knight Riders. Both the squads won their respective opening matches and would be looking to carry on the momentum forward. Head-to-Head, KKR leads KXIP by 7-3, but the last time these two teams met, KKR was destroyed by KXIP after an exceptional batting performance by KL Rahul.
Both the teams look in good form and do have some areas to work on. Andre Russell’s firing innings of 49 in 19 saved the game for KKR against SRH. Every KKR bowler went for runs at an economy of 7+ which could be a significant concern seeing the heavy batting lineup of Kings XI.
On the other side, Kings XI batting did look good. The absence of Andrew Tye did affect the bowling for KXIP, but he is back with the squad and was seen bowling in the nets. KXIP also might go for a couple of changes.
Let’s see the Probable XI for both the teams.
Probable XI for KKR :
Sunil Narine suffered a brief scare during the last match because of which he couldn’t open. Both Narine and Lynn will open the batting for KKR followed by the in-form batsman Nitish Rana who batted like a star in the last match scoring 68 in 47 balls.
The middle order for KKR has an excellent Indian core with Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Kartik and Shubman Gill. Both Uthappa and Shubman Gill looked in great touch as they were middling the bowl nicely. DK got out for a meagre score but it was just the first match, and we all know what he is capable of especially in this format of the game.
Andre Russell will be the star player for KKR as he can change the game in their favour at any moment in the game.
KKR might go with the same bowling unit even though the bowling was not economical in the previous match. The main issue with the team is lack of Indian fast bowlers. Both Nagarkoti and Mavi were ruled out before the tournament due to injury.
DK will have to mix up his bowlers pretty well against the mighty Punjabians.
Playing XI: Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Nitish Rana, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Kartik, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna.
Probable XI for KXIP:
KXIP has one of the best opening pair in this years’ IPL, and they would not even think of changing it. Though KL Rahul didn’t score much in the first game, he has been in a great form lately. Both Gayle and Rahul can destroy any bowling attack when they get going. Mayank Aggarwal will stick to his place coming at first down.
The middle order might change for KXIP in this match with David Miller and Karun Nair sitting out on the bench. Sarfaraz Khan was the surprise packet for everyone as scored 46 in 29 balls and is expected to do so again tonight. Punjab might think of bringing in David Miller for Pooran and Nair for Mandeep.
Sam Curran’s second last over could be called the changing moment for Kings, but there is no doubt that he was too expensive in his previous overs. With Andrew Tye back, Curran might sit out.
Kings XI Punjab bowlers did exceptionally well in the death overs taking seven wickets for just 24 runs. But if they play Andrew Tye for Curran, this would strengthen their bowling in the first six overs of the powerplay. Also, Eden Gardens does have grass for bowlers which might help the fast bowlers. The spinners, Ashwin and Mujeeb, were brilliant and took some crucial wickets for the team.
Playing XI: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Mayank Aggarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller, Karun Nair/Mandeep Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Andrew Tye, Mujeeb-ul-Rehman, Mohammad Shami, Ankit Rajpoot.