Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are in the midst of their worst-ever losing streak at home (L3), but up next are a Rajasthan Royals (RR) side that have lost their last six H2H fixtures at this venue since 2008.
Having lost their last five games, their second-longest losing streak after a run of eight defeats in 2009 and their worst in matches played in India, KKR do look short of confidence. Yet winning three of the next four could well see them involved in the playoffs.
Individual player failures have led to KKR’s collective failure, as they continue to be dependent on Andre Russell’s numbers (392 runs @ 217.77, nine wickets). Absence of representation in the top-20 wicket takers and the top-20 economical bowlers highlight their season troubles.
RR are in the same boat and probably even a step behind. With just three wins from ten, they are now in a ‘must win’ situation. However, they have won only once away from home this season in four trips (W1, L3), and haven’t won consecutive matches for 14 games now (W5, L9).
Ajinkya Rahane’s miraculous comeback to form (318 runs) remains their saving grace, but patience could be running out with ‘expensive’ purchases Jaydev Unadkat (ER 11.04) and Dhawal Kulkarni (ER 9.57).
KKR vs RR T20 – Players To Watch Out For
With just one 50+ score in his last seven innings, Nitish Rana (KKR) has a point to prove consistency wise.
RR would love to see Sanju Samson reboot his season after aggregating just 107 runs in his last six matches, that after hitting a century earlier in the season versus the Sunrisers.
KKR vs RR T20 – Probable XI
Kolkata Knight Riders
Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (C & wk), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Yarra Prithviraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson
Sanju Samson (wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith (C), Ben Stokes, Riyan Parag, Ashton Turner, Stuart Binny, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni.
Only the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai has a lower Powerplay average (39.5) than Eden Gardens (47.5) this season. KKR have won the last four H2H matches. KKR’s Powerplay average of 48.3 since 2012 is the highest among all active teams.
RR have won just 12 of the 43 away matches they started as outsiders (27.91%), the second-lowest rate after Chennai. RR have a 2-0 record over KKR in matches decided via Super Overs.