Match: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab (KKR vs KXIP)
Date:October 26, 2020
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium – Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
A very crucial game awaits as Kolkata Knight Riders face Kings XI Punjab in an IPL 2020 league game on Monday. KKR are on 12 points, while Punjab are on 10 points, and the race for the playoffs has heated up. If KKR lose this game, they will slip below the top four due to an inferior NRR, and will then hope to win their remaining two matches. They will also want Punjab to lose at least one game to stand a chance to qualify.
All equations can be put to rest if KKR go on to win the match, however. They will enter the game high on confidence after a thumping win against Delhi Capitals on Saturday. They scored 194 and raced away to a 59-run win.
Kings XI Punjab, on the other hand, defended 126 in their last game to register their fourth successive win in the edition.
The weather in Sharjah will hover around the 37-degree mark during the day, but the temperatures will ease down as the night progresses. There will be a slight breeze blowing as well.
The track had plenty of runs on offer in the initial haf of the tournament but has slowed down considerably. There is a lot of help for the pacers, as we saw in the last game here between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
The teams that will win the toss might opt to bat first and get a good total on the board, which will put the rival team under pressure. However, if there is dew, chasing might be an option.
KKR Expected XI and Team News
The KKR team brought in Sunil Narine in the last game, and the move paid off. However, they are a batsman short, and if Andre Russell is fit, he might be slotted into the XI for Pat Cummins.
Sunil Narine: The West Indian returned to the side in the last game and impressed with a quick 64 off just 32 balls. He can take on the spinners in the middle overs, and is also lethal with the ball.
Lockie Ferguson: The Kiwi picked up a wicket in the last match, which took his tally to 7 wickets in just three games. He has been bowling in the middle overs and at the death, and has left his mark thus far.
Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan (c), Pat Cummins/Andre Russell, Lockie Ferguson, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy
KXIP Expected XI and Team News
Mayank Agarwal missed the last game due to a bruised knee but might be back for the encounter, which means that Mandeep Singh misses out. Chris Jordan, who came into the XI in place of James Neesham against SRH, is likely to hold on to his place.
KL Rahul: The Punjab skipper did not have a great game with the bat, as he was dismissed for 27. But he has 567 runs this season, and will want to lead from the front in an important game.
Mohammed Shami: The seamer went to 17 wickets in the last game. He has a dangerous yorker at the death, and can be lethal with the new ball as well.
KL Rahul (c, wk), Mayank Argawal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh
Head to head record of KKR vs KXIP:
KKR have a huge advantage over Kings XI Punjab, having won 18 of the 26 games that the two have faced in the history of the IPL. Punjab have registered 8 wins. KKR had defeated Punjab by 2 runs when the two last met this season, which means that KKR now have four successive wins against them.
MPL Fantasy Prediction for KKR vs KXIP:
WK: We have selected three wicket-keepers in our MPL fantasy team. KL Rahul is a must-pick. He is closing in on 600 runs and will want to play a captain’s knock after missing out in the last game. Nicholas Pooran has played a number of quick cameos, and has impressed with his SR in the middle overs, while Dinesh Karthik had scored a fifty in just 29 balls when KKR had last met Punjab.
Batsmen: Eoin Morgan has played a number of good knocks lower down the order but is yet to get a big knock. He will want to lead from the front. Nitish Rana opened the batting against Delhi, and impressed with a fine 81. Chris Gayle is dangerous on his day, and deserves a look-in.
All-rounders: Sunil Narine missed a few games after he was reported for suspect action. He made a strong comeback in the last match, scoring 64 in just 32 balls while batting at 5. He can also pick wickets with the ball, and will be the X-factor.
Bowlers: Lockie Ferguson has 7 wickets in 3 games and is in excellent form. Varun Chakrabarthy has led the spin department, and picked up a 5-wicket haul in the last game – the first of IPL 2020. Mohammed Shami has 17 wickets and has been effective at the death, while Arshdeep Singh has been the standout player, especially in the death overs.
Captain and VC: Eoin Morgan and Sunil Narine
Match Prediction for KKR vs KXIP:
Both games will enter the game high on confidence after thumping wins in their last games. KKR are finally getting into their groove and are yet to play to their full potential, while Punjab are heavily reliant on the top-order. We back KKR to win.
Kolkata Knight Riders are the favourites.
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