Punjab Kings pulled off a much-needed win against Mumbai Indians in their last match. Not only it was needed to get their campaign back on track, but also to bring back the lost confidence.
Even though KL Rahul’s strike rate has been in question, he has played sensibly. He has scored three half-centuries in five games. Maybe, he was trying to bat through the innings with other players revolving around him.
It was actually not a bad thing to do as the surface in Chennai was not the easiest to bat and you don’t need a 180-190 score to feel safe. 160 was also a pretty decent score there. With the Chennai leg of matches done, we may see a more aggressive Rahul in the next game. Mayank Agarwal and Chris Gayle are also finding their feet. PBKS continue to give chances to Nicolas Pooran but with Malan in the dugout, he might have played his last game.
Deepak Hooda, Moises Henriques and Shahrukh Khan add a lot of depth but they need to be more consistent. Fabian Allen was brought into the team considering the conditions in Chennai. KL Rahul might look to bring one of Jhye Richardson or Riley Meredith in place of Allen in Ahmedabad. Mohammed Shami is looking in fine rhythm while Ravi Bishnoi has also got off to a brilliant start. With momentum on their side, they’ll go into the match with great confidence.
We are two weeks into the IPL and among all, KKR seems to be struggling the most. From their bizarre game strategies to the poor form of their leading players, KKR have been completely off this season. Shubman Gill has looked scratchy while Eoin Morgan is having a torrid tournament. Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi too have been disappointing after a decent start. Sunil Narine is bowling well but he is nowhere close to the bowler he used to be. The pacers have also failed to pick up early wickets. Overall, things are looking very concerning for the KKR.
Pitch Report – The Ahmedabad pitch certainly will be much better to bat. During the India-England T20I series, there were three successful chases of scores over 180.
With the change in venue, KL Rahul may look to swap Fabien Allen with Jhye Richardson or Riley Meredith. Also, he might bring in Dawid Malan in place of Nicolas Pooran.
The PBKS skipper has scored three half centuries in five games and is looking in decent form. His strike rate has been in question but he is expected to play much more attacking cricket in Ahmedabad.
KL Rahul (c/wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Moises Henriques, Shahrukh Khan, Jhye Richardson/Riley Meredith, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ravi Bishnoi.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders seem to be playing their best squad. Maybe, they could bring in Harbhajan Singh considering his good record against KL Rahul and Chris Gayle. The veteran spinner has accounted for Gayle on five occasions while he has dismissed Rahul thrice
Though Russell hasn’t been consistent, he has had a couple of decent games. In one game he picked up a five-wicket haul while he scored a brutal half-century against CSK. KKR will certainly hope that he can deliver such performances on a consistent basis.
Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi
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