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KOL vs RAJ, Indian T20 League 2021 – Fantasy Preview and Top Picks

Match: Team Kolkata vs Team Rajasthan (KOL vs RAJ, Indian T20 League 2021)

Date: October 7, 2021 – 7:30 PM IST

Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah

Where and what time to watch the match live in India 

For those in India, you can watch match 54 of the Indian T20 League 2021 between Team Kolkata and Team Rajasthan live on Star Sports 1 and 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi and Hindi HD, Star Sports Select 1 and Select 1 HD at 7:30 PM IST on Thursday, 7th October. You can also witness the clash live on the online streaming platform, Disney+Hotstar. 

KOL vs RAJ – What to expect: 

Rajasthan started off their journey in UAE in a special way. They pulled off a win out of nowhere against Punjab, but instead of using the momentum to produce similar results in the remaining matches, Rajasthan have only gone back since that win.

In their last five matches, Sanju Samson and his boys have won only one match. While they were very much in the playoffs race with a win against Chennai in their second-last match, a humbling defeat against Mumbai in their last match has made things very tricky for them.

Officially, they are still in the playoffs hunt. But with a net run rate as low as theirs, Rajasthan would need Mumbai, Punjab and Kolkata to have the worst day in their history in their respective last match to make it to the next round.

Coming to Kolkata, after a defeat against Punjab, they bounced back emphatically against Hyderabad in their last match. They are fourth in the points table at the time of writing, and a win in this match should place them in a good spot for the playoffs qualification. They will need to ensure they don’t drop points in this match, and then hope that neither Mumbai nor Punjab can pull off a massive win in their respective last matches.

Pitch Report of KOL vs RAJ

The Sharjah Cricket Stadium surface has always helped bowlers in this edition of Indian T20 League. Bangalore batters did perform well on this track against Punjab, but it was the only occasion where a team managed to score over 160 runs here. Any score of around 150 should be good enough to defend at this ground.

Kolkata – Expected XI and Team News 

There is no reason for Kolkata to make any changes to a team that did extremely well for them in the previous match against Hyderabad. Shakib Al Hasan justified his selection by picking up a wicket and conceding only 20 runs, while young pacer Shivam Mavi also returned with 2 wickets. Hence, it is very likely that the men in purple will field the same XI that played against Hyderabad.

Kolkata Probable XI – Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Shivam Mavi, Tim Southee, Varun Chakravarthy.

Rajasthan – Expected XI and Team News 

Unlike Kolkata, Rajasthan can make quite a few changes to their team combination for this match. New Zealand batter Glenn Phillips had a disappointing outing against Mumbai, as he scored 4 runs from 13 balls. He could make way for English all-rounder Liam Livingstone. Given the low target Rajasthan was defending against Mumbai, none of the Rajasthan bowlers could put up a fight. However, while Mustafizur Rahman and Chetan Sakariya got a wicket, Kuldip Yadav returned empty-handed. Hence, his place in the playing XI might be taken away by the hero of the match against Punjab, Kartik Tyagi.

Rajasthan Probable XI – Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (c & wk), Liam Livingstone/Glenn Phillips, David Miller, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Shivam Dube, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman, Kuldip Yadav/Kartik Tyagi.

Head to head record of KOL vs RAJ 

The head-to-head statistics between these two teams show that a match between Rajasthan and Kolkata is always likely to be a close affair. Kolkata have the slight upper hand, as they have defeated Rajasthan on 12 occasions, as compared to Rajasthan’s 11 victories against them. In the last three meetings between the two sides, Kolkata have come out as winners twice, while Rajasthan have won the other hand.

Team Kolkata – 12

Team Rajasthan – 11

KOL vs RAJ: Five players to watch out for in the match no. 54 of the Indian T20 League 2021  

Here we take a look at five key players you must pick in your MPL fantasy XI: 

Sanju Samson: Wicket-keeper, Rajasthan

One cannot help but feel for Sanju Samson, as the captain of Rajasthan has always given his one hundred per cent on the field, but his team has let him down more often than now. He is Rajasthan’s highest run-getter with 483 runs in 13 matches. Rajasthan’s second-highest run-getter from the currently available players, Yashavi Jaiswal, has scored just over half of Samson’s runs, which shows the gulf in quality.  

Evin Lewis: Batter, Rajasthan

Besides Sanju Samson, Rajasthan have found another dependable batter in Evin Lewis. The West Indian was signed as a replacement for the UAE leg and he has not done much wrong in the pink jersey. Lewis has scored 151 runs in five matches, which includes a half-century against Chennai. Even in the last match against Mumbai, where the entire batting department of Rajasthan had a collective failure, Lewis managed to score 24 runs.

Venkatesh Iyer: All-Rounder, Kolkata

Venkatesh Iyer has been some find by the Kolkata scouts. The Madhya Pradesh cricketer has done wonders for the men in purple in the second phase of this tournament. In the last match against Hyderabad, Iyer became the fourth Kolkata batter to score over 200 runs in this season, despite not playing a single match in the first phase. He has also picked up 3 wickets and is a handy sixth bowling alternative for Eoin Morgan.

Rahul Tripathi: Batter, Kolkata

Rahul Tripathi is the highest run-getter for Kolkata. He has scored 356 runs in 12 matches, which includes a couple of half-centuries. Tripathi did not have a good game against Hyderabad, but scored 34 runs in the match before that against Punjab. In his last five matches, he has scored 169 runs for Eoin Morgan’s team.

Varun Chakravarthy: Bowler, Kolkata

Varun Charkavarthy is likely to be India’s prime spin option in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, as he is doing really well on these surfaces in the UAE. Chakravarthy is Kolkata’s most successful bowler, having picked up 15 wickets in 13 matches. In his last match against Hyderabad, the 30-year-old picked up 2 wickets by conceding only 26 runs. In his last five matches, Chakravarthy has never conceded 30 or more runs, which shows how effectively he can get the scoring rate down.

KOL vs RAJMPL Fantasy XI 

Also Read: MPL introduces Playoffs Season Ticket in Indian T20 League

Note: The players recommended here need not be a part of the Playing 11 on game day. Users are advised to do their own research also and follow official sources and create their teams.

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