IPL 2022 RR vs KKR, 30th Match Preview: Kolkata in desperate need of a win to stem slide
Kolkata are slightly ahead in the head-to-head record between the two teams, having won 13 matches against Rajasthan as opposed to RR's 11.
KKR stutter after quick start
Kolkata Knight Riders were flying high with two wins from their first three matches and their bowling was looking quite formidable. However, back to back defeats in the last two matches has slightly pegged them back.
There are a few apparent concerns for KKR. The four players they retained before this season included two inexperienced Indian players in opening batsman Venkatesh Iyer and mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy.
Both the players have gone off the boil this year and are yet to come up with an impactful performance this season which is hurting Kolkata quite a lot.
They are not only low on form but on confidence as well and it will test the Kolkata management on how long a rope they are willing to give these two players.
Sunil Narine and Andre Russell meanwhile, the other two retained players by Kolkata, have repaid the faith shown by the management and will once again hold the key to Kolkata's fortunes.
Aaron Finch has got into the side at the top of the order in place of a struggling Ajinkya Rahane. However, the team has had to let go of Sam Billings to accommodate another overseas player.
Given the form of the Australian white ball captain and his record in the IPL, one is not sure about how intelligent a move that is and how long it is going to last, especially that KKR are losing out on a player of Sam Billings' ability who can finish games and also keep wickets -- a pick that provides much better balance to the franchise.
RR pin hopes on in-form Buttler
Rajasthan Royals have been doing quite well with three victories from five matches and will expect another good showing from opener Jose Buttler who has found his mojo once again.
It will be interesting to see whether Kolkata hand the ball to either Narine or Chakravarthy in the powerplay as both of them have a favourable match-up against Buttler.
Boult to be back?
Rajasthan will expect Trent Boult to have regained full fitness, in which case he will take the place of Jimmy Neesham.
Predicted Playing XIs
Kolkata Knight Riders - Venkatesh Iyer, Aaron Finch, Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Sheldon Jackson, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Umesh Yadav, Aman Khan, Varun Chakaravarthy
Rajasthan Royals - Jos Buttler, Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Rassie van der Dussen, Shimron Hetmyer, Riyan Parag, Jimmy Neesham/Trent Boult, Ravichandran Ashwin, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prasidh Krishna
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