Rajasthan Royals’ three consecutive wins have dramatically changed its fortunes
Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals, which have added immense thrill to IPL-11 because of their ability to bounce back, face each other in a crucial engagement at the Eden Gardens here on Tuesday, a contest that is likely to be entertaining.
As the race for the remaining two spots intensifies, KKR, following its remarkable roller-coaster ride, will be keen to finish its home engagement on a high and inch closer to a playoffs spot.
KKR’s last performance in Pune, where it posted a whopping 245 for six, its highest total of the season, will be a huge confidence-booster for the host.
KKR’s batting clicked the other day with its top five batsmen getting runs at impressive strike rates.
The good use of the PowerPlay overs by its openers Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine propelled KKR’s innings and the batsmen who followed scored freely to notch up a huge total and put Kings XI Punjab under tremendous pressure.
Incidentally, KKR’s victories have kept pace with Narine’s success with the bat.
KKR will hope that its batting line-up, comprising captain Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, Andre Russell, Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill, builds on the momentum and delivers.
“If we play two good games of cricket, destiny is in our hands,” said KKR coach Jacques Kallis, stressing the importance of wins.
Over-reliant on spin
The team has been over-reliant on its spin trio of Narine, Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav and will pray for the return of youngster Shivam Mavi, who has been out of action due to a finger injury, to bolster its pace attack.
RR’s three consecutive wins have dramatically changed its fortunes from being on the verge of elimination to the threshold of qualification.
It was possible primarily due to the stellar effort of Jos Buttler, who has struck five consecutive half-centuries including match-winning unbeaten 90s in the last two matches.
Besides, RR’s batting is also dependent on the Sanju Samson and captain Ajinkya Rahane’s performances.
The responsibility of the visitors’ bowling rests on pacers Jofra Archer and Jaydev Unadkat and spinner K. Gowtham.
Despite Royals’ late charge, Knight Riders seem to have an edge in the eagerly anticipated contest.