Kolkata Knight Riders face a resurgent Kings XI Punjab in Sharjah in match 46 of IPL 2020. This will be the third match for both sides at this venue. KKR have lost both their games here, while Punjab have won one and lost one. KKR are fourth on the points table, while KXIP are fifth. Thus the result of the game will be very important keeping in mind their positions in the table and their future in the tournament.
Kings XI Punjab, are coming into this game on the back of four consecutive wins. They are high on confidence and are peaking at the right time in this tournament. The players in the team have managed to somehow win games for their side in the last four games. However, their performance against SRH will please them the most. Their bowlers defended the lowest total in this season as they took seven wickets for 14 runs to win them the game.
Batting wise KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran and Mayank Agarwal have done most of the scoring for the same. Rahul and Mayank have been incredibly consistent this season. However, Glenn Maxwell’s form is still a concern for the side. Chris Jordan and Mohammed Shami has held the fort with the ball.
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab Round 2
KKR, in their skipper Eoin Morgan’s words was ‘near-perfect as they registered a commanding win over Delhi. Nitish Rana came good opening the batting, while Sunil Narine flourished on his return. He had a good day with the ball as well. Dinesh Karthik’s form with the bat is still a concern for KKR. His scores in this tournament reads 30, 0, 1, 6, 12, 58, 1, 4, 29*, 4 and 3.
He relinquished captaincy to focus on his batting, which hasn’t happened so far in the tournament. Kolkata Knight Riders needs their finisher in Karthik and they will hope that he gets back to form against a side he scored a fifty in this season. The KKR thinktank also will be worried about Shubman Gill’s form, who has tapered off after a good start to the season, KKR will hope Rana continues his form now that he has found it once again. Rahul Tripathi will hope that he returns to some runs as well.
Their bowling group has looked the best with the inclusion of Varun Chakravarthy and Lockie Ferguson. It was bolstered with the return of Sunil Narine into the side with a reworked action. With Varun bagging his best IPL figures, he will be the KKRs trump-card against Kings XI. With both needs needing to win all their remaining games, the contest is expected to be a good one.
Head to Head:
Out of the 26 games played between the two teams, KKR have won 16 games, while Punjab 8. KKR won by just two runs in a nail-biting game between the two teams in the first leg.
Pitch & Weather Conditions
Presence of dew means the weather gets a bit cooler in the evenings in Sharjah. While the pitch has changed and slowed down than what it was at the start, teams need to put up a score in between 170-180 to challenge the opposition.
Both teams have players sitting out with injuries. Andre Russell watched KKR’s last game from the stands. If he gets fit, Kolkata Knight Riders management will have a hard time thinking about whom to leave out.
For Kings XI Punjab, if Mayank Agarwal gets fit, he will replace Mandeep Singh at the top of the order.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Eoin Morgan (C), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shivam Mavi, Sandeep Warrier, Kuldeep Yadav, Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine, Nikhil Naik, Manimaran Siddharth, Andre Russell, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Siddhesh Lad, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Rinku Singh, Varun Chakravarthy, Tom Banton, Chris Green, Rahul Tripathi
Kings XI Punjab
Lokesh Rahul (C/WK), Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel, Mandeep Singh, James Neesham, Tajinder Singh, Chris Jordan, Karun Nair, Deepak Hooda, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Glenn Maxwell, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sarfaraz Khan, Sheldon Cottrell, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami, Darshan Nalkande, Nicholas Pooran, Chris Gayle, Murugan Ashwin, Jagadeesha Suchith, Krishnappa Gowtham, Hardus Viljoen, Simran Singh