After winning 3 matches on the trot, the Kolkata Knight Riders finally lost to the Sunrisers Hyderabad after a David Warner century. They are currently second on the table and will look to go on top by winning their match against RPS.
Under Gautam Gambhir’s leadership, KKR have looked an extremely solid unit and with the way they are going, they could be well on their way to achieving their third IPL title.
Let’s take a look at the probable playing XI for the Kolkata Knight Riders for their match against RPS:
Sunil Narine surprised the entire cricketing fraternity with his powerful pinch hitting in the matches against Gujarat Lions and Royal Challengers Bangalore over a week ago. However, he has not been able to make an impact in the past few matches with the bat or the ball. With Chris Lynn set to return soon, Narine might find himself out of the playing XI.
Gautam Gambhir has performed exceptionally well with the bat and is currently the 2nd highest run scorer even held the orange cup to his name. He has been lauded for his tactics and has proved to be one of the best captains in the tournament over the past few years.
Robin Uthappa too has been unstoppable in this season so far and has formed a formidable partnership with Gambhir at the top of the order. After an extremely poor domestic season, Uthappa has turned his fortunes around and if he continues to perform well, he might just be included in the Champions Trophy squad.
Manish Pandey has the best average in the KRR batting line-up so far in the tournament if we exclude Chris Lynn who just featured in two matches. He began the tournament with a bang with a few top notch performances with the bat. He looked sloppy in a few matches after that but found his feet once again in the last match.
Sheldon Jackson will be prefferred over Suryakumar Yadav given the latter’s poor form with the bat. Jackson too has not got too many chances to perform and will be looking to make a mark for himself with not too many matches remaining before the playoffs.
Yusuf Pathan: The elder one of the Pathan brothers, Yusuf has not been the dangerous batsman he once was a few years ago. Despite that, he managed a quickfire half-century against the Delhi Daredevils. With a lot of strong batting performances by the KKR, he has also not got a lot of chances to perform at all.
When he gets more time to get going, Pathan can dent the opposition bowling attack beyond repair.
Shakib Al Hasan has hardly been given an opportunity to perform in this year’s IPL. One of the best all-rounders in the world, he would be raring to go. Given Colin de Grandhommes’s poor form with the bat and ball, Shakib could finally get a match.
Chris Woakes has picked up wickets at regular intervals but has leaked a lot of runs with an economy rate of 9.65. he has not performed with the bat as well and will need to pull up his socks in order to help the Daredevils turn their season around.
Nathan Coulter-Nile has been one of the standout performers with the ball for KKR. He has played only 5 matches for his side and has picked up 11 wickets with an economy rate of 8.29. He has proved his worth on the Eden Gardens surface and could prove to be the difference between the two sides.
Kuldeep Yadav, the chinaman bowlers has been extremely impressive this IPL. He has picked up only 8 wickets in 9 matches but has been successful in containing the runs of the opposition when it matters most.
Umesh Yadav has turned over a leaf over the past year or so and was one of India’s best performers in the long test season. He has been equally impressive in the IPL as well and has picked up wickets at regular intervals and not given away a lot of runs as well.
He has not bowled his quota of 4 overs in the past two matches despite performing well and would be hoping to do so against Steve Smith's men