Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk:On paper, both the teams may rank same but it will be safe to it’s going to be a battle between Rajasthan Royals’ batting and Kolkata Knight Riders’ bowling when they meet in Rajasthan on Wednesday.
Royals have turned it around with back-to-back wins after Sunrisers thrashed them in their opener.
They pipped Delhi Daredevils by 19 runs in a rain hit encounter and then travelled away to post a convincing 19-run victory over star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The undisputed star of the game was Sanju Samon who hit a blistering a 45-ball 92 and Royals would expect him to fire again.
They were able to iron out few of their flaws. Royals’ batting clicked with Samson leading the charge and skipper Ajinkya Rahane too making a useful contribution. Their bowling though remains a thorn in the flesh. None of their bowlers are in the top 20 of IPL’s most economic bowlers. They did sustain the pressure of onslaught by big hitters like Virat Kohli and A B de Villiers in the last match but the likes of Stokes and Unadkat are from their best.
They are on their home turf where they have seldom lost matches but they would still be wary of KKR who outplayed Delhi Daredevils rather comfortably last night for their second win in four games.
With Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine at the top and big hitters like Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana and Andre Russell in the middle, KKR have enough fire power and depth.
Their bowling too has the right balance with the deceptive Narine, the current purple cap holder in the tournament. Wily old horse Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav are capable of weaving a web around any batting side.
Pacer Shivam Mavi, who rose to stardom during the recent U-19 World Cup, and Russell provide the medium pace variety to KKR.
However, the tight schedule of the tournament has left KKR so drained that they have preferred to rest today instead of holding a practice session.
The pink city, after a two and half hour rain interruption in the previous match, is under a dry and hot spell. The wicket here is a sporting one but a little bit of dryness would help the KKR spin department.
Rajasthan Royals: Heinrich Klassen, Benjamin Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat, Sanju Samson, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jos Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane, Darcy Short, Rahul Tripathi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Zahir Khan Pakteen, Ben Laughlin, Stuart Binny, Dushmantha Chameera, Anureet Singh, Aryaman Vikram Birla, Midhun S, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Jatin Saxena, Ankit Sharma, Mahipal Lomror.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (c and WK), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, R Vinay Kumar, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searless, Apoorv Wankhade, Ishank Jaggi and Tom Curran.