IPL 2018 has been an up and down season for both these two teams, and both of Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals have 6 wins and 6 losses so far this year. With 12 points each, both teams, along with RCB and MI, are fighting it out for the last two spots available to the IPL 2018 playoffs. One thing is for sure is that this game will be an extremely vital one for both Kolkata and Rajasthan, because the loser will have to win their last and play for Net Run Rate to qualify.
Kolkata have so much of potential but they haven’t been displaying their best this season. Their massive effort of 245 in the last game against Punjab shows what they are capable of and I’m highly surprised they weren’t able to put up such performances more often this season. However, the back end of the tournament is what matters. Both teams must forget about past bad performances and since both are coming into this with wins and high confidence, I’m expecting a cracker of a game.
Kolkata’s last match saw contributions from everyone. Sunil Narine is a gamble at the top and if that gamble pays off even once in three games like it did in the last game, KKR have high chances of winning that game. While Andre Russell hasn’t been able to contribute much in the last few games, a quick 31 and 3/41 with the ball in the last match against KXIP is great news for the franchise. 2-time Indian Premier League winners KKR have been in this situation quite a few times and I believe they will peak when required the most. ie. NOW.
Rajasthan is also coming into this game with a win. In fact, their coming into it with 3 consecutive wins. From almost out of the competition, they are now in contention but unlike KKR, they don’t have a lot of players in good form. With the bat, it’s Jos Buttler and with the ball, it’s Jofra Archer who have been getting them their wins. Jofra has 13 wickets in 7 games while Buttler has smashed 5 consecutive fifties, to take his season’s tally to 509 runs!
What’s happening around Buttler with the bat? No contributions from Tripathi and dismissals after getting a start from Ajinkya Rahane. K Gowtham could be used as a floater but unfortunately, Rahane hasn’t used him as well as he could’ve. Rajasthan Royals lead the head-to-head count between these two sides 9-7 but they are going to play KKR at the Eden Gardens, which has been a fortress to the Knight Riders.
Kolkata have been more consistent over the years at the Indian Premier League and they have more experience playing at the crucial stages and in pressure situations, as compared to Rajasthan Royals. I’m expecting a high scoring game, wickets to spinners and Kolkata Knight Riders to win.