IPL 2021: Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders – Preview, Prediction, Probable Playing XIs and Value Bets.
Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Saturday, April 24th, 2021
16:00 SA Time
The 18th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will witness Rajasthan Royals (RR) taking on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday night. The two have faced each other 23 times with KKR leading the battle with 12 wins to RR’s 10. KKR have also dominated the Royals of late with 6 victories in the last seven contests between the two. Looking at the history between the two and the current situation of RR, Kolkata Knight Riders do head into the match as slight favourites.
Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for Rajasthan Royals this season. They have been hit badly by the injuries of their star players like Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer. And Liam Livingstone has taken the leave due to the bio-bubble fatigue. As a result, RR have been left without any backups. RR have now lost three matches out of four this season and are languished at the bottom of the table. Their batting has been underwhelming so far with Jos Buttler and Sanju Samson not performing consistently while their bowling has looked completely toothless with no real wicket-taker. It will be interesting to see what changes they’ll make.
Kolkata Knight Riders are coming into this match with three losses on the trot. They have been tactically good but their bowling and batting has let them down massively. KKR bowling looks extremely weak with no reliable pace bowler. Both Cummins and Prasidh Krishna have been taken apart while Russell’s death bowling has been expensive. KKR’s batting unit hasn’t clicked as a whole yet. They’ve been witnessing batting collapses too often. However, KKR recovered from 31-5 to 202 on the back of some insane power-hitting from Russell, Karthik and Cummins. It could just be the moment that might lift them up going forward
Injury and Availability News
Rajasthan Royals’ Ben Stokes has been ruled out of the tournament while Jofra Archer hasn’t arrived in India yet. Liam Livingstone has taken a leave due to the bio-bubble fatigue. Kartik Tyagi’s participation is also doubtful as he’s recovering from an injury.
Kolkata Knight Riders will have all their players available for the game
Probable Playing XI
Jos Buttler, Anuj Rawat, Sanju Samson (c/wk), Shivam Dube, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Jaydev Unadkat, Andrew Tye, Chetan Sakariya
Kolkata Knight Riders
Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy
Pitch and Conditions
Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai is an extremely batting-friendly venue which has produced many high-scoring games this season. The average first innings score at the venue in IPL 2021 is 181.
Key Players to Watch Out For
Jos Butler: One of the most destructive white ball batters, Jos Buttler has had an underwhelming IPL season so far. Buttler has scored only 84 runs in the four games so far with the high score of 49 against Chennai Super Kings. Buttler, who has 1798 runs to his name in IPL at an average of 33.9 and strike rate of 148.7 needs to step up for RR.
David Miller: The South African power-hitter scored a brilliant 43-ball-62 run knock in his first game in this season against Delhi Capitals. But has returned with the scores of 2 & 0 in the next two games. David Miller could have a huge role to play against a pace heavy unit of KKR. Killer Miller has scored 1911 runs in IPL at an average of 33.5 and strike rate of 138.2.
Shubman Gill: The young star of Indian cricket has to produce a great season to push his case forward for national setup. Shubman Gill, despite all the potential hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations in IPL. Gill has only scored 69 runs in the first four games for KKR but he has looked in good touch in patches. Wankhede pitch should suit his style of play.
Lockie Ferguson: The New Zealand fast bowler has warmed the bench so far but is expected to play in this game, considering the current state of KKR bowling. Lockie Ferguson is in terrific form lately, picking up 10 wickets in his last 5 T20I matches at an economy of 6.25. Ferguson could run havoc if he gets an opportunity.
What Bets To Take
Jos Buttler to be RR’s top batsman at 3.20.
Chris Morris to be RR’s top bowler at 3.75.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Shubman Gill/Nitish Rana to be KKR’s top batsman at 4.00.
Lockie Ferguson to be KKR’s top bowler at 3.75.