IPL 2021 preview: Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders eye resurgence following series of losses
It is the 14th edition of the lucrative Indian Premier League, as the tournament is being held in India this term. Rajasthan Royals is a former champion, having won the title in 2008. Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders is a former two-time champion, winning in 2012 and 2014.
There has been no shortage of entertainment and surprises in the 2021 Indian Premier League so far. Meanwhile, in Match 18, two former champions, Rajashtan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders would clash at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.
Both the teams have not really been title contenders in the past few years. Meanwhile, following a series of losses, both are expected to develop winning performances in this clash as we present the match preview.
Both the sides have played four games so far, with both winning a game and losing three. The teams are currently placed in the IPL 2021 table's bottom half, with KKR in sixth and RR at the bottom.
RR's squad is lagging in the batting department but is heavy on the bowling front, 16-13, to be precise. However, with the limited talent, it has in its batting, it is still formidable enough to outplay any bowling attack on a given day.
KKR is tide heavy on its bowling, along with equal capped talent distribution across departments. Also, with the kind of batting the side displayed in the last game against Chennai Super Kings, it would be foolish to rule it out until the final delivery.
KKR does not have any injury concerns. Meanwhile, with Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone and Jofra Archer being ruled out, RR lacks resources and contemplates suitable replacements.
In the 23 games between the two so far, KKR has won 12, with RR winning ten. Of the 18 games in India, KKR leads 9-8, while both clash for the first time in Mumbai.
Weather and pitch report
The Mumbai weather would be hot on Saturday, with a temperature of around 33 degrees and 63% humidity. As for the track, a sporty pitch awaits, with equal competition between the bat and the ball. Meanwhile, the seamers are likely to come in handy in the latter part.
RR: Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Shivam Dube, David Miller, Riyan Parag, Chris Morris, Rahul Tewatia, Jaydev Unadkat/Shreyas Gopal, Chetan Sakariya and Mustafizur Rahman.
KKR: Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy and Kamlesh Nagarkoti.
Batsmen: Rana, Tripathi, Parag- Rana is sure to give the perfect start, while Tripathi can score at number three, as Parag would consolidate in the middle.
Wicketkeepers: Buttler, Samson (vc)- Buttler has been in terrific form and is a no-brainer, along with Samson, who has been scoring as an opener. Samson is expected to be the ideal opening partner for Rana and is also the deputy skipper.
All-rounders: Russell (c), Morris, Tewatia- Russell is a must-have for his sublime all-round abilities, making him the skipper. He would be rightfully assisted by Morris with his pace, while Tewatia can do the same with his spin, as the latter two can also come in handy with the bat if needed.
Bowlers: Unadkat, Cummins, Sakariya- In an all-out pace attack, Unadkat and Cummins are no-brainers, while Sakariya has been doing great of late. Also, Cummins can prove to be great with the bat, as was the case in the last game.
Date and day: April 24, 2021 (Saturday)
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, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar