KXIP vs KKR: As the league stage of the IPL is coming to an end, the intensity amongst teams to lock their berth in the playoffs has significantly increased. Match 52 is a battle between both the teams, who will be fighting to get their ticket to the playoffs. Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will face Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in a do-or-die match at the PCA IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali.
The battle for the 4th team to qualify for the playoffs is super strong, after Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Capitals and Mumbai Indians already confirmed their spots. KXIP and KKR are the only two teams which currently have the same points to their tally, with 10 points each. However, KKR, by virtue of having positive run-rate is above KXIP in the IPL standings.
Both KKR and KXIP started their tournaments on a high, but later on, started fluttering. The teams had their share of ups and downs but somehow, they have still managed to stay relevant to the tournament. This match, however, will decide their fortunes.
What’s good for KKR is that they will be coming into this game with a lot of confidence, after a comprehensive victory against the Mumbai Indians. On the other hand, KXIP has nothing to seek their confidence from after facing three back-to-back defeats.
The pitch at Mohali has been a batsman’s favorite, as the track is flat and the ball will come on to the bat. It is going to rain runs in this match, with power hitters on both the sides like Andre Russel and Chris Gayle. The team should chose to bowl first, after winning the toss, as the team batting second, might have a marginal advantage, as the dew factor could come into the picture in the second innings.
It is going to be a cloudy day at Mohali. However, there are no signs of rain. The cloud cover would also mean that there won’t be any dew factor which could spoil the match. The temperature will be around 29-31 degree Celsius with low humidity.
In a total of 24-matches played between both the sides, KKR leads the tally with double the number of wins than KXIP with 16 wins in its kitty, while KXIP can only boast of 8 victories. However, at Mohali, the ratio drastically changes as both the teams have won equally here, with 3 wins each. In their previous fixture, KKR dominated KXIP after Robin Uthappa and Nitish Rana scored their half-centuries. Andre Russel scored a blistering 48 off 17 balls and had also taken 2 wickets, to ultimately win the game by 28 runs.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
KKR’s strength is definitely its batting. The previous match against the MI was a testament of the same. It was raining runs against the MI, where the majority had come from the top-order. But the one man who has been the star player for KKR is undoubtedly Andre Russel. The Jamaican is in a phenomenal form who has already scored 486 runs in 12 matches, ranking himself at number 3 in the IPL standings. KKR will be resting a lot of hopes on him for their game against the KXIP. However, while batting could be their strength, bowling is their weakness too. Seasoned players like Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla have not been consistent in restricting the opponents and that is something they need to strongly work on.
Probable Playing XI
Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik(C&WK), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Rinku Singh /Kuldeep Yadav, Sandeep Warrier, Piyush Chawla and Harry Gurney
Kings XI Punjab
KXIP should look at reshuffling its team and bring on the best ones. David Miller has had a disappointing season so far and may have the risk of staying on the bench for this match. Moises Henriques or Sam Curran will be chosen in the team over Miller. Experienced Sarfaraz Khan might replace Prabh Simran, who had a forgettable debut. KL Rahul had by-far been the best and the most consistent batsman for KXIP after scoring 520 runs in 12 matches. He will certainly be the key for this game too. As far as bowling is concerned, the majority of the onus will be on Mohammed Shami and Captain Ashwin to get the early breakthroughs.
Probable Playing XI:
Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan /PrabhSimran, David Miller/Moises Henriques, Nicolas Pooran (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin (C), Andrew Tye/Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Shami, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep.
KL Rahul and Chris Gayle from the KXIP feature in the Top 10 run scorers in this edition of the IPL with 2nd and 7th position respectively. While KKR only has Andre Russel in the list, who takes the 3rd spot.
The stats further hurts KKR in the bowling department as there is no representation in the top 10 wicket-takers, while KXIP has Mohammed Shami (At No.6) and Ravichandran Ashwin (At No.9).
PROBABLE TOP PERFORMERS
Andre Russel (KKR) | KL Rahul (KXIP)
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Select HD
Live Streaming – Hotstar
Match Timings – 20:00 IST
Prediction: The prediction is for the Kolkata Knight Riders to win the match.
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