Date: 24 April 2021
Time: 7:30 pm (IST)
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
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Rajasthan will lock horns with Kolkata in match number 18 of the Indian T20 League in Mumbai. Both the teams have had a forgettable start to the tournament this year and have just one win to their name after four matches. However, the advantage with Kolkata is that at least they showed great fight to take 221 chase till the last over despite losing way too many wickets upfront. For Rajasthan, their batsmen has just not been able to put their hand up and take responsibility and that has led to batting collapses. To add to their woes, even their bowlers looked ineffective in the last game. Will we see another high-scoring thriller or will either of Rajasthan or Kolkata produce a dominant win? Let the battle begin on Saturday.
Rajasthan need to move on from the absence of Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer. Their senior players need to take on the added responsibility and perhaps one might see Jayadev Unadkat getting a place in the XI after Shreyas Gopal's inclusion in team against Bangalore due to his good record vs Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers did not quote work out as per their plan. In addition, they might look at somebody like a Yashasvi Jaiswal at the top of the order, given that Manana Vohra hasn't really fired so far in the competition.
As far as Kolkata are concerned, they need more contribution from Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi and captain Eoin Morgan. It would be interesting to see the kind of combination they go ahead with in this match after Sunil Narine don the purple colours last match and they went in with an added pacer in place of Harbhajan Singh.
From the wicketkeepers, Dinesh Karthik, Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson all could easily walk into one's XI. However, DK usually comes lower down the order and may not always get the opportunity to face many balls to make an impact on the match. Samson and Buttler will be at the top order and thus will have more chance of fetching good points. In the batsmen section, Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill could be handy picks but the risky options could be David Miller who has had two failures after his match-winning effort. Similarly, Eoin Morgan should one go with the law of averages suggesting a big score from his bat or his current form will be another critical question answer.
In the all-rounders section, Andre Russell should be the first one on the list given that the match is at Wankhede and his superhuman ability to clear the boundary. Chris Morris is another great pick and if credit as well as one's team combination allows, Rahul Tewatia, Sunil Narine as well as Shivam Dube could all be great assets both with the bat and ball. To finish off with the bowlers, Pat Cummins with his added ball-striking ability and fielding is a definite pick along with Chetan Sakariya. Varun Chakravarthy and Mustafizur Rahman are other options who can be useful on this surface.
People's pick for Fantasy
Probable Playing XI
Rajasthan: Jos Buttler, Manan Vohra/Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Shivam Dube, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Jaydev Unadkat/Shreyas Gopal, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman
Kolkata: Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna
Wicketkeeper: Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Dinesh Karthik
Batsmen: Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Abhishek Tripathi, David Miller
All-rounders: Andre Russell, Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia, Sunil Narine
Bowlers: Pat Cummins, Chetan Sakariya, Varun Chakravarthy
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