IPL 2020: In-form Rajasthan or tumbling Kolkata, whose fire will go out on Super Sunday?
The evening encounter of Sunday’s double header between Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) is one that carries high stakes. Whoever loses the game will be knocked out of the league. Though a win doesn’t guarantee a play-off berth, the winners would be at 14 points and hoping for the other results to go their way.
RR are running hot with a couple of inspired chases in the last 2 games, led by a century and a half-century by Ben Stokes-the opener. The star all-rounder was promoted to open in place of Jos Buttler, who went to the middle order, a reversal or their roles as compared to the international setup. Even Sanju Samson and Steven Smith have found lost form and given the batting line up a fearsome look.
Rajasthan’s biggest worry would be the lack of support for Jofra Archer in the bowling department. Archer has been brilliant with the ball, in the powerplay as well as at the death, but has barely found any support in the other bowlers.
KKR have blown hot and cold throughout. They have looked clinical on one day and shattered like a stack of cards the other. Unfortunately for them, the latter has happened more often than they would be comfortable with.
Varun Chakravarthy has been the only bowler to be amongst the wickets. Sunil Narine has been economical, alongside the occasional flare with the bat. But he has missed a few games because of issues with his bowling action. The Indian pacers have been plagues with inconsistency.
Their batting hasn’t done much better either. While some have struggled in getting runs, others have failed to up the ante. Consistency has been a distant dream for all KKR batsmen. They finally moved Dinesh Karthik to the finisher role last game, and would hopefully move Morgan to number 4 in this.
To sum up, KKR’s best bet is to attack the RR bowling unit and bat them out of the game, but after the way RR batsmen have batted in the last couple of games, nothing would look out of reach to them.
Though none of the teams would want a player fresh off the bench in a high-tension game, KKR will look at Andre Russell if fit, and a toss-up between the Indian pacers would mean that any of them could be a part of the 11.
KKR: Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Pat Cummins, Rinku Singh, Kamlesh Nagarkoti/Shivam Mavi/Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy.
RR: Robin Uthappa, Ben Stokes, Steven Smith (c), Sanju Samson (wk), Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Kartik Tyagi.