Date: October 7, 2021
Time: 7:30 PM (IST)
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Live Ball-by-Ball Commentary: SportsTiger App
Kolkata and Rajasthan will meet in the penultimate evening of the Round-robin phase of IPL 2021 and yet it appears to be the most important match with regards to the Playoff scenario. While Chennai, Delhi and Bangalore already sealed their Playoff berth, if Kolkata beat Rajasthan at Sharjah on Thursday, then they are almost certain of reaching the Playoffs since they have a superior net run rate.
However, if Kolkata lose this game, the ball will be in the court of Mumbai who will have to take the two points to seal their entry into the Playoffs. Meanwhile, Rajasthan too have their chances of qualification but only if they register a massive win to up their net run rate, also hoping that Mumbai loses their fixture. With so much at stake and the excitement at an all-time high, this is set to be another tight match in the competition.
Position in the Indian T20 League standings:
Kolkata: Current Position: 4th (12 points in 13 matches)
Rajasthan: Current Position: 7th (10 points in 13 matches)
Kolkata: The big news coming in from the Kolkata camp is that Andre Russell and Lockie Ferguson have both regained fitness and perhaps could be seen coming back in a must-win game for the Eoin Morgan-led side. This would be a huge boost to the team given that they need to find a way to reach 14 points and be the masters of their destiny as far as the Playoff race is concerned.
Rajasthan: For Rajasthan, it was their first match at a difficult Sharjah wicket this season and so their batters struggled. Despite that, they are unlikely to make a lot of changes but back the same set of players on a sluggish surface.
Head to Head (in Indian T20 League)
Matches Played – 23
Players to watch out for:
Varun Chakravarthy: While media reports have cited concerns over the fitness of mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy, Kolkata would do anything in their right to have their leading wicket-taker take the field in this must-win fixture. The mystery spinner has scalped 15 wickets in 13 matches so far at an average of 23.33 and an economy of 6.73. Eoin Morgan would hope that Chakravarthy continues his good form in this match.
Sanju Samson: With 483 runs in the 2021 season, Sanju Samson has pretty much been the lone consistent run-getter. However, the inclusion of Evin Lewis and Yashasvi Jaiswal at the top has seemed to relieve some pressure off Samson's shoulders. Having said that the Kerala cricketer who averages 43.90 at a strike rate of 138.00 this season must fire for Rajasthan if they are aiming at a massive win that can give them an outside chance of qualifying or even two points to finish this season for the Rajasthan on a high.
Probable Playing XI:
Kolkata: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy
Rajasthan: Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Shivam Dube, Glenn Phillips, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Kuldip Yadav, Chetan Sakariya, Mayank Markande, Mustafizur Rahman