KKR vs RR gives us a vibe of a classic knockout encounter. Both teams are in exactly the same position as the other one. Both need a win to stay alive in the tournament and need a few other results to go in their favour because of their negative net run rate.
Ben Stokes is firing, with bat and ball. Sanju Samson seems to have rediscovered his early-season form. Jos Buttler is prepared to play finisher and Jofra Archer is unplayable at all times. It seems like they have all the bases covered but have they found their perfect combination a little too late? This match would be the right indication for this.
Kolkata have been the most confusing team this season. The way they have used the batsmen in the middle-order is baffling. They still don’t know their best combination and it seems like the boat has sailed on their campaign. Here’s a look at how KKR vs RR can fare.
Nitish Rana vs Ben Stokes
Nitish Rana has proved himself why he should be the opening partner with Shubman Gill for Kolkata. They have tried five openers this season so far, joint-most along with Rajasthan and Chennai and that tells us the inconsistencies in selection. Those five have formed four different pairs so far and the most successful has been Gill-Rana. His strike rate of 146.09 is the fourth best in the list of openers and that shows the impact he has had at the top of the order.
Ben Stokes had struggled in his first five matches managing just 110 runs at a strike rate of 106.79 and average of 22. In his first five matches, Stokes had played 103 balls without hitting a six, which is unlike him. However, Stokes has turned it around in the last 2 matches smashing 157 runs with the help of a century and a half-century. In the last two matches, Stokes has 157 runs at an average of 157 and a strike rate of 182. 55. He’s been in fine form and expect it to continue when it matters the most.
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
After warming the bench for two seasons due to injuries, Kamlesh Nagarkoti finally got to make his debut in the Indian T20 League for Kolkata. Nagarkoti has bowled in two innings at Dubai and took two wickets at an average of 23.50. Nagarkoti gets to bowl the most in middle-overs and all his wickets have come in that phase of the match. Captain Morgan should use him carefully and he’ll pay dividends.
Sanju Samson started the tournament remarkably after back-to-back half-centuries in the first two matches. Since then he struggled with consistency and the results started going against the team in Pink. The last two matches were brilliant for Sanju and that resulted in two wins for the team.
He needs to show more consistency and give himself a chance when he goes out in the middle.
KKR: Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (C), Dinesh Karthik (WK), Sunil Narine, Rinku Singh, Pat Cummins, Lockie Ferguson, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Varun Chakravarthy
RR: Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Sanju Samson (WK), Steven Smith (C), Jos Butler, Rahul Tewatia, Riyan Parag, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Kartik Tyagi
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