IPL 2022, KKR vs PBKS, Match Prediction: Kolkata aims to get back to winning ways against determined Punjab
Match 8 of IPL 2022 will be between Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings. With KKR desperate to get back to winning ways, it could be a tough outing for PBKS.
As the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) is off to a competitive start, Match 8 of the tournament will be played between former two-time champion Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Punjab Kings (PBKS). It will be played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday, where KKR won its season opener against five-time defending champion Chennai Super Kings (CSK). With both sides looking in excellent form, we expect a cracker of a contest as we present the match preview and predict the winner.
KKR is coming off a mixed form this season, having won the opener against CSK before losing to Royal Challengers Bangalore. As for PBKS, it won its opening game against RCB. As of now, judging by the form, it looks like anyone's game.
Teams strengths-weaknesses and players to watch
As for KKR's squad, it is completely balanced. Yet, it is somewhat heavy in batting, having quite a few superstars. Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Aaron Finch, Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer, Mohammad Nabi, Sam Billings, Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine, and Pat Cummins are the ones who can create headlines.
On the other hand, PBKS has players aplenty, while it grows slightly heavy in its bowling department. Regardless, it can be considered a perfect side with talented batters. Mayank Agarwal, Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Jonny Bairstow, Kagiso Rabada and Rahul Chahar could make things more challenging for KKR.
Injury concerns and head-to-head
While KKR will be without some of its Australian players, PBKS has no injury concerns. In 29 meetings, KKR leads 19-10, while in 23 encounters in India, KKR has a lead of 17-6. It would be their first-ever clash at Wankhede.
Weather and pitch report
The weather in Mumbai will be hot, with an expected temperature of around 25-33 degrees, while humidity will be about 54%. The track at Wankhede is generally favourable to batters initially before slowing down, while with the dew factor coming in, chasing would be the ideal option.
KKR: Ajinkya Rahane, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer (c), Sam Billings, Sheldon Jackson (wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav and Varun Chakravarthy.
PBKS: Mayank Agarwal (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (wk), Shahrukh Khan, Odean Smith, Raj Bawa, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Sandeep Sharma and Rahul Chahar.
Batters: Dhawan, Rahane, Agarwal, Rana - Dhawan and Mayank will give the perfect start, with Rahane firing at number three, while Rana will do the same at number four.
Wicketkeeper: Rajapaksa - He is the man who makes the cut despite solid competition from Sheldon Jackson, thanks to his consistent batting.
All-rounders: Narine, Russell - The two happen to be no-brainers here. While Narine would impact using his mysterious pins, Russell would be of excellent service across departments.
Bowlers: Southee (vc), Umesh (c), Chahar, Chakravarthy - Southee and Umesh will dominate with their sheer pace. While Umesh's consistency makes him the skipper, Southee's reliability makes him the deputy. In the spin department, it would be Chahar and Chakravarthy who have been faring great of late.
Date and day: April 1, 2022 (Friday)
Venue: Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Time: 7.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi (also available in HD and other regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar
Prediction: KKR wins; toss to play a vital role