Date: 24 April 2021
Time: 7:30 pm (IST)
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Live Ball-by-Ball Commentary: SportsTiger App
In match no. 18 of Indian Premier League, Rajasthan Royals will lock horns with Kolkata Knight Riders in what is going to be a very crucial contest on Saturday. With one win and three defeats so far, both teams have had disappointing starts to their campaign. While the winner of this contest will get a lifeline to bounce back in the tournament, the second best team on the day will face a huge psychological setback as they will go bottom of the table.
Although both the sides lost their previous contests, they would take some positives with the way they fought. After losing early wickets during their batting, the middle-order of both Kolkata and Rajasthan stepped up to take their sides to a respectable total. Both the skippers, Eoin Morgan and Sanju Samson are also under scrutiny with their own form and they will be hoping to lead from the front in Mumbai.
The wicket is expected to be another high-scoring one and it is going to be difficult for the bowlers to stop the flow of runs. Considering the dew factor, toss is going to play a huge role as both the sides will look to chase at Wankhede. With stakes so high and two struggling teams desperate for a win, it is a perfect setting for a high-voltage encounter on Saturday.
Sanju Samson's side will have a few concerns coming into this contest. Manan Vohra has not fired in the four matches so far and he might get replaced by Yashasvi Jaiswal. Meanwhile, the way RCB destroyed their bowling could lead them to make some alterations there as well. There is a possibility that they might drop Shreyas Gopal once again to bring in Jaydev Unadkat or Kartik Tyagi.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Eoin Morgan's team is full of stars but they have not lived up to the expectations so far. While they have a well-settled batting line-up, the fans could see some changes in their bowling line-up, if any. Kamlesh Nagarkoti did not have a great outing while Prasidh Krishna has been struggling to find his rythm as well. Shivam Mavi could get a game considering the fact that there will be some seam movement on offer at Wankhede.
Head to Head (in IPL):
Matches played: 23
Rajasthan Royals: 10
Kolkata Knight Riders: 12
The all-rounder did not have a great start to the season but was at his absolute destructive mode against Chennai. Russell smashed 54 runs off only 22 deliveries and had he not misread Sam Curran's delivery, he could have guided Kolkata to a famous win. The 32-year-old has also been given the responsibility to bowl at the death and he did take a fifer against Mumbai. He is certainly contributing in all departments and will be the key player in this contest.
The right-handed batsman has been struggling to get going in IPL 2021 so far. In the absence of Ben Stokes, a lot lies on the shoulder of Jos Buttler to take his team off to a steady start. The 30-year-old played some good shots during his 49-run knock against Chennai but Rajasthan would expect much more from their overseas superstar. If the Englishman can fire against Kolkata, he can definitely take the game away from them.
The Australian cricketer stunned everyone with his blistering 66-run knock against Chennai. While Cummins certainly impressed with the bat, he had a rather dismal outing with the ball as he conceded 58 runs in 4 overs. It has not bee a great start to the season for him but he has proved time and again that he has the quality to become a valuable T20 player. The 27-year-old will get some assistance from the Wankhede pitch and he will want to come up with a better bowling performance against Rajasthan.
Probable Playing XI
Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c/wk), Shivam Dube, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia, Jaydev Unadkat/Shreyas Gopal, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi/Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy