Match Preview: Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders
A stern bowling test awaits the Rajasthan Royals (RR) as they look to contain Andre Russell and Chris Lynn of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at their fortress in Jaipur. They have been the only team to have defended two scores, batting first, this season and will be aware of the fact that Russell and Lynn will be the principal destroyers for the Knight Riders.
The Jaipur wicket is known to be a batting paradise and Jaydev Unadkat might well have to do something similar to Trent Boult if they are to keep the two gun players of KKR quiet! Teams have found it difficult to win games after batting first and that has been backed up by statistics, this season.
While the Royals themselves have had to rely on Sanju Samson for most of their runs, they did get a brisk cameo from their skipper Ajinkya Rahane, whose strike rate has been a point of discussion of late. That being said, they are due some runs from the England duo of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, even though the latter has contributed with handy runs and wickets at crucial intervals. Buttler, on the other hand, had a sloppy game with the gloves in his previous match and will be looking to make amends.
D’Arcy Short might have run out of opportunities and it remains to be seen whether his wrist spin gives him the edge over Heinrich Klaasen, one last time! KKR on the other hand might consider playing an extra bowler in place of Shubman Gill as they haven’t managed to get the best out of the rookie batsman in the last two games. The other option would to slot him right at the top of the order and bring Sunil Narine down.
The KKR spinners did manage to run through the Delhi batsmen, who failed to cope up with the pressure of runs on the board. However, that may not be the case over here given the nature of the Jaipur wicket. Samson will be looking to tonk a few more balls out of the park and the fact that he likes playing against KKR is well documented by the fact that he averages 44.85 in ten games against them and has a strike rate of 157.78.
The Royals could bring in Heinrich Klaasen for D’Arcy Short.
Rajasthan Royals - Ajinkya Rahane (c), D’Arcy Short/Heinrich Klaasen, Sanju Samson, Jos Buttler (wk), Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, Krishnappa Gowtham, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Ben Laughlin, Dhawal Kulkarni
KKR might bring in Prasidh Krishna for Shubman Gill.
Kolkata Knight Riders - Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Andre Russell, Tom Curran, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Prasidh Krishna
- RR is the only team to have played with the same XI in all their matches so far
- Sunil Narine became the first overseas spinner to pick up 100 wickets in the IPL
- KKR posted a total of 200 runs in their previous game against Delhi. However, the first over of their innings was a maiden over and their last over went for just the one run!
April 18, 2018
20:00 hours IST
Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur
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