Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Gujarat Lions (GL) will clash tomorrow at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Certainly, this is going to be a David Vs Goliath battle as one hand, we have KKR – the number one team of IPL 10 positioned themselves at the top of IPL points table – on the other hand we have GL who are languishing at the bottom of the points table.
One more loss could literally mean the end of GL’s race to play-off stage this session. KKR are in sublime form with four victories out of the five matches that they played so far. KKR won three consecutive matches and their confidence will be at all time high tomorrow. Head to head, KKR and GL have collided thrice at IPL in which KKR won 2 while GL won 1 match.
Team News for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
KKR will once again miss the service of Chris Lynn. Last time, they came down to 21 for 3 while chasing 170-run target against Delhi Daredevils but fortunately the 110-run partnership between Manish Pandey (69) and Yousuf Pathan (59) guided the team to a four-wicket win. Riding on their winning streak, KKR must be looking forward to wrap tomorrow’s match in style to earn that crucial 2 points and improve their run-rate too. Either Sunil Naraine or Grandhomme is expected to open the innings with Gambhir.
KKR’s strong point is its spin department. No wonder, Sunil Narine, Shakib Al Hasan and Yousuf Pathan will play an important role tomorrow with their off-spin bowling. Bangla all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan is expected to feature in tomorrow’s match considering his good all-round performance at Eden Gardens in the past.
KKR will also expect some solid batting from Manish Pandey, Chris Woakes and Yousuf Pathan on Friday. Contrarily, Surya Kumar Yadav’s bad performance is worrisome too. Surya Kumar bats at crucial number 6 and he has to perform well if KKR want to keep the momentum.
Team News for Gujarat Lions (GL)
Gujarat’s problem is their inability to withstand pressure. Be it batting or bowling, Gujarat Lions have failed miserably at IPL 10. However, McCullum continues to be the second-highest run-getter of IPL 10 with 225 runs at an average of 45. David Warner of SRH is currently the leading run-scorer with 239 runs from 6 matches to his credit.
Apart from Brendon McCullum’s excellent batting up the order, nothing is going well for Gujarat team. They tried several combinations but all went in vain. Ravindra Jadeja, Munaf Patel, Dwayne Smith and Praveen Kumar – their bowling skills are not helping the team. Especially, Jadeja and Smith are extremely expensive with the ball averaging economy rate of 11 runs per over.
Aaron Finch may get a recall. Also, left-handed Ishan Kishan may get to bat up the order after his scintillating 19-ball 39 at last match. Shadab Jakati, slow left arm orthodox bowler may also get a recall in tomorrow’s match. GL will expect some good bowling from star all-rounder Ravidra Jadeja as well in tomorrow’s match.
Predicted Playing XI (Both Teams)
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Gautam Gambhir (Captain), Robin Uthappa (Wicket Keeper), Shakib Al Hasan, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Woakes, Sunil Narine, Nathan Coulter-Nile Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, , Kuldeep Yadav and Umesh Yadav.
Gujarat Lions (GL): Aaron Finch, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina (Captain), Dinesh Karthik (Wicket Keeper), Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, James Faulkner, Andrew Tye, Basil Thampi, Shadab Jakati and Dhawal Kulkarni.
Result Prediction: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will win.
Venue: Eden Gardens. Match will telecast live on Sony ESPN from 8 PM onwards.