IPL 2020 Match 54 Preview: KKR vs RR - Same brief for both Kolkata and Rajasthan, go big or go home
While a loss will bring an end to the IPL 2020 campaign of either team, a win will not guarantee their qualification to the playoffs.
LIVE - Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals, 54th Match
RR flip their campaign
With both Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders with 12 points from 13 matches each and a poor net run rate, the best that both teams can do in this game is to go all out and try not only to win but win by a big margin as their qualification despite victory will depend on their net run rate.
With victories in their last two matches, Rajasthan Royals have suddenly turned their campaign around. It is not only the wins but the manner of the victories which will please the Rajasthan Royals management.
Ben Stokes' form lengthens RR's batting order
Despite Ben Stokes not firing at the top of the order in the first few games, Steve Smith was adamant to not bring back Jos Buttler in his place and the strategy worked wonders in the last couple of matches with Ben Stokes rising to the occasion with a century and a half-century.
When Stokes fires, along with cameos from Robin Uthappa in the last two games, the Rajasthan batting line-up looks a lot longer and stronger, with Steve Smith, Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler to follow.
Depth in Rajasthan's batting
Even if the three of them fail, the Royals still have young Indian talent in Riyan Parag and Rahul Tewatia to do the needful.
Sanju Samson has also regained form and fell just two runs short of another half-century in the last game. Their bowling, led by Jofra Archer is their weaker suit but is still good enough to get the better of a brittle Kolkata batting order.
Back to back losses for KKR
Back to back losses have taken the steam out of Kolkata Knight Riders' IPL 2020 campaign. They would have to win their encounter against Rajasthan by a big margin to have any hopes of sneaking in at the fourth spot.
Narine back at the top?
Eoin Morgan said in the last match that Andre Russell was not near full fitness and thus the all-rounder is unlikely to break into the XI. Given that Kamlesh Nagarkoti had just 10 runs to defend in the last over against Chennai Super Kings, it would be tough on the youngster to drop him.
Kolkata can also go with the left-field choice of bringing back Sunil Narine at the top of the order in this do-or-die match.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Rajasthan Royals (RR): Ben Stokes, Robin Uthappa, Steven Smith(c), Sanju Samson (wk), Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Kartik Tyagi
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan(c), Dinesh Karthik(wk), Pat Cummin, Lockie Ferguson, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna
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