A fiery contest awaits in the humidity of Kolkata as two form teams, with first time captains, look to come out of the contest with bragging rights. Ravichandran Ashwin became the first captain to win the toss and bat first this season while Dinesh Karthik has had his fair share of praise and criticism.
April 21, 2018
16:00 hours IST
11:30 hours BST
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Kolkata’s wrist spinners have been their savior and the bowling of Nitish Rana has been a real bonus for them. T20 cricket does not allow batsmen to respect the best of bowlers, forget part-timers. That seems to have worked in Rana’s favor as he has already scalped a few big names with the ball. The use of Sunil Narine, the allrounder, continues to work wonders for at team, which, at the start of the tournament, looked thin on resources.
A real test awaits the KKR bowlers as they take on a Chris Gayle, who looks hungrier than ever, and is determined to prove a point in every game he plays. He took Rashid Khan to the cleaners the other night and one won’t be surprised if the Kolkata crowd is left to catch balls rather than cheer for their team!
The heartening thing for Punjab would be to see AJ Tye returning to form, after having a few indifferent games, and he will hold the key along with Ravichandran Ashwin. Mohit Sharma has continued to leak runs, and it remains to be seen as to how many more chances does he get.
Kolkata will be hopeful of a like-for-like performance from Chris Lynn, who has struggled to bash the ball with the ease that he is known for. A vintage Robin Uthappa innings was on show against the Rajasthan Royals, and his fans will be hopeful of a few more runs from him.
A day game at Kolkata is never quite a pleasant experience, and teams will need to be at peak fitness levels to beat the heat!
Expect both teams to go in with unchanged elevens.
Kolkata Knight Riders - Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Tom Curran, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi
Kings XI Punjab - KL Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch, Yuvraj Singh, Karun Nair, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), AJ Tye, Barinder Sran, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb ur Rahman
© Cricket World 2018