Match 46 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 pits the Kolkata Knight Riders against the Kings XI Punjab at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Monday.
Despite starting IPL 2020 with six losses in seven games, the Kings XI Punjab have come roaring back with four consecutive wins. They were coming out on the wrong end of last-ball thrillers in the first half of the tournament, but KXIP have managed to find a balance between aggression and consistency.
This had led them to the fifth spot on the IPL 2020 points table. With KL Rahul and Chris Gayle in fine form at the top of the order, KXIP look well-equipped to mount a late run for a playoff spot, for which there are quite a few teams in contention.
One of the teams is the Kolkata Knight Riders, who currently occupy the coveted fourth spot. Despite having a few personnel concerns, KKR demolished the Delhi Capitals in their previous game, with Nitish Rana and Sunil Narine finally striking gold with the bat in hand. With their two overseas pacers firing on all cylinders, the Kolkata Knight Riders can alleviate the pressure on them with a season-defining win in Sharjah.
The last time these two teams faced off in the IPL, the Kolkata Knight Riders pulled off a heist, with KXIP unable to chase down 22 off 18 balls. KL Rahul would love to exact revenge upon the two-time IPL champions, but Eoin Morgan and co look well-balanced on paper.
This should be a cracking encounter to kickstart the final leg of the league stage in IPL 2020.
Squads to choose from
Kolkata Knight Riders
Dinesh Karthik (C), Shivam Mavi, Tom Banton, Sandeep Warrier, Kuldeep Yadav, Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine, Nikhil Naik, Manimaran Siddharth, Andre Russell, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna, Shubman Gill, Nitesh Rana, Siddhesh Lad, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Rinku Singh, Varun Chakravarthy, Chris Green and Rahul Tripathi
Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul (C), Karun Nair, Mohammed Shami, Nicholas Pooran, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Hardus Viljoen, Darshan Nalkande, Sarfaraz Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Murugan Ashwin, K Gowtham, J Suchith, Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Tajinder Dhillon, Prabhsimran Singh, Agnivesh Ayachi, Harpreet Brar, Murugan Ashwin
Predicted Playing 11
Kolkata Knight Riders
Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan (C), Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna and Varun Chakravarthy
Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul (C&WK), Mandeep Singh/Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan/James Neesham, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh
Match: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab, Match 46
Date: 26th October 2020, at 7:30 PM IST
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
The pitch at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium has slowed down considerably, with the new-ball bowlers ruling the roost of late. The likes of Siraj and Boult have enjoyed conditions due to the early swing on offer, which should be the case in this game as well.
Although the bowlers will be key to both sides' fortunes, the batsmen should be able to play their natural game once they get used to the pace of the surface. The dimensions of the ground also play into their hands, with the straight boundaries being very small.
With dew expected to play a part later in the game, both teams will look to chase upon winning the toss, with 170 being a competitive total at this venue.
KKR vs KXIP IPL Dream11 Fantasy Suggestions
Fantasy Suggestion #1: KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Varun Chakravarthy and Lockie Ferguson
Captain: KL Rahul, Vice-Captain: Shubman Gill
Fantasy Suggestion #2: KL Rahul, Nicholas Pooran, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Rahul Tripathi, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Varun Chakravarthy and Pat Cummins
Captain: Chris Gayle, Vice-Captain: Shubman Gill