KKR vs PBKS, October 1 2021, 7:30 PM IST
Kolkata Knight Riders came into the UAE phase of IPL 2021 knowing they had to win six out of their seven matches. The loss against Chennai Super Kings could have had a different result but KKR now have a realistic chance of making the playoffs and completing their goal of six wins.
Their next three matches are against Punjab Kings, Rajasthan Royals and Sunrisers Hyderabad. With Mumbai Indians tied on points and only behind because of net run rate, KKR do not have the option of being reckless.
While things haven’t been ideal for PBKS, they are still in the playoffs hunt despite their demoralizing loss against MI. KL Rahul’s side have batting issues to solve after their last match where the captain felt his batters should have posted at least 170 on a good batting track in Abu Dhabi.
PBKS did perform better in the battle against Rajasthan Royal in Dubai, where they now play KKR, but eventually lost the contest by two runs. The opportunities to make it even, however, are slipping away quite quickly and the KKR challenge won’t be an easy one to neutralise especially after the way Eoin Mogan’s men slayed Delhi Capitals.
When: KKR vs PBKS, October 1 2021, 07:30 PM IST
Where: Dubai International Cricket Stadium
What to expect: Better batting conditions and a slightly cooler evening is expected to welcome the teams. With scoring relatively easy, the captains will prefer to bat second.
Head To Head: KKR 19 – 9 PBKS. The last time these two sides met, KKR had an easy win in Ahmedabad and were able to break their four-match losing streak.
Injured/Unavailable: Andre Russell is likely to be rested for a while. Dinesh Karthik, post the DC match, felt the issue that forced Lockie Ferguson off the field wasn’t serious.
Strategy and Key Players: Sunil Narine loves playing against PBKS. He’s picked 30 wickets against them, has his best figures against them and also has his best IPL score against them.
He eased the side to a win with his attacking display in the death overs against DC. Rahul has performed best against Narine and it’ll be key that the PBKS captain does his bit to hurt KKR’s spearhead spinner.
Probable XI: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Sandeep Warrier, Varun Chakaravarthy
Injured/Unavailable: Chris Gayle has left the IPL bio-bubble and won’t be available for PBKS’ remaining IPL 2021 matches. Mayank Agarwal missed the last match because of a stiff back but should come in for Mandeep Singh.
Strategy and Key Players: PBKS’ chances of winning will depend on how they play the middle overs against KKR and their spinners. Except the game against CSK, Chakaravarthy and Narine have given runs at less than six an over in the three matches against RCB, MI and DC in their eight overs.
Shubman Gill averages more than 72 against PBKS. It’ll be crucial that the bowlers are able to break the Gill-Venkatesh Iyer combination early to put the middle order under pressure.
Probable XI: KL Rahul(w/c), Mandeep Singh/Mayank Agarwal, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Fabian Allen, Harpreet Brar, Nathan Ellis, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh
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