Ajinkya Rahane-led Rajasthan Royals take on Dinesh Karthik’s Kolkata Knight Riders in the Eliminator on Wednesday, 23 May. The match is scheduled to start at 7 pm.
The winner of the Eliminator will play Qualifier 2 against Sunrisers Hyderabad
The team that loses the match will be knocked out of the tournament
So IPL playoffs’ matches got kick start yesterday. CSK beat table toppers SRH by 2 wickets in a nail bitter game and secured their place in finals. While SRH will still get one more chance to qualify for finals if they win Qualifier 2 which they will play against the winner of today’s game in Kolkata.
According to cricket experts KKR looking favourites today and there are also reasons for it. The biggest advantage KKR will have is that match is at their home ground Eden Gardens. No one knows those conditions better than KKR. And in their penultimate match of league stages KKR beat RR at Eden Gardens. They are coming here with a winning streak of 3 matches. So momentum is with them. Those two loses against Mumbai Indians hurted them a lot but they comeback in a superb way and scored highest score of this year’s IPL 246 againt KXIP and after that also won 2 more games and reached playoffs. Another reason for their confidence being high is that they secured their place in top 4 by beating table toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last leaugue match.
Dinesh Karthik has been doing a great job for them both as a leader and as a batsman. He has shown some great faith on youngsters like Rana, Mavi, Gill and Prasidh Krishna and those youngsters have not disappointed him. Chris Lynn getting man of the match award and Uthappa scoring few important runs in last game was a big news for them. And on a small grounds like Eden Gardens Sunil Narine as a batsman can score those quick runs anytime. Then Rana and Russell has also performed for them. So overall their batting looks perfect.
Taking about their bowling then those 3 spinners will be key at Eden Gardens. Narine, Chawla and Kuldeep will again play important role for them. Last time when KKR played here in last match Kuldeep Yadav took 4 wicket and was also man of the match. Overall KKR looks a great team.
Talking about Rajasthan Royals, Jos Butler’s and Ben Stokes’ exit will surely hurt them. Though Tripathi who was out of from in the whole tournament scored brilliant in last game and was highest scorer for Royals. Their last win against RCB will surely give them a lot of confidence. Defending 160 odd against the likes of Virat and ABD was really a great task. In this match also their spinners Ish Sodhi and Man of the match of last game Shreyas Gopal will hold the key. Krishnappa Gowtham has also shown great characters for them. And with Tripathi and Klaasesn scoring runs they will also hope their captain to score big and seal win for them.
Venue : Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Time : 7 PM IST
Weather : The weather is expected to be clear throughout.
KKR : Dinesh Karthik would surely like to stick with the same team that played against Sunrisers Hyderabad
KKR Probable XI: Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Javon Searles, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna Piyush Chawla.
RR : Ajinkya Rahane too wouldn’t like to change his winning combination.
RR Probable XI: Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane (c), Sanju Samson, Heinrich Klaasen, Stuart Binny, K Gowtham, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Ish Sodhi, Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Laughlin.
Head to Head
Matches – 15
KKR – 8
RR – 7
KKR – L, L, W, W, W
RR – W, W, W, L, W
With KKR being favourites according to some experts but in these knockout stages you never know what’s gonna happen. A good performance from anyone might take game away from the opposition. It’s 7 PM start game so hardly there will be problem of dew at Eden Gardens. So overall it’s going to be a great battle between these two teams.