Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders, 70th Match


May 19 2024 at 7:30 pm
Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders
Barsapara Cricket Stadium, Guwahati

Total    :29
KKR Won  :14
RR Won   :14


Another pitch enabling low scores? Quite contrary to the expectations and local trends, the black-soil pitch in the last match here was low and skiddy, with batters finding it difficult to get under the ball. The weather in Guwahati has been wet leading up to this match and although a fresh pitch is in the offing, it could play very similar. The prediction on match day is for scattered thunderstorms but like with all forecasts, it's subject to change.

Rajasthan Royals  last match against Punjab Kings saw Tom Kohler-Cadmore debut and it was proof enough that Buttler is a big void to fill at the top of the order and it'll not be straightforward for someone else to slot in right away and perform. But Shane Bond, RR's bowling coach, maintained after the defeat that RR remained "hard to beat" and were "one better game" away from finding their mojo back.

"We are pretty good. Obviously, we are disappointed," Bond had said. "It is never a great feeling when you are losing games in a row, then your mind plays back to what-ifs. What if we won against the Sunrisers? But you have to get some perspective too. When you look at the points table we are second. Even with the four losses in a row, we are second and we have qualified. It just takes one better game from us to turn things around and I think we are the capable ones. If we play our best cricket, we are hard to beat. We are always hard to beat."

Winning against a team that has secured its league-topper status long back will not be easy for RR but it could just be the challenge that can fire them up and set them up nicely for a potential encore in Qualifier 1 after a day's gap in Ahmedabad.

 KKR it's all been hunky-dory lately. The only match they haven't been able to win this month is the one that was abandoned due to rain and their middle-order and spin attack seem to hit the top gear at just the right time. Now it will be all about addressing the wounds of that run-chase by RR at the Eden Gardens, a period in their campaign that saw them at their wobbliest. But having done well to recover from that and given the form they are in at the moment, the Shreyas Iyer-led side could prove to be difficult to stop at the moment

Rajasthan Royals

Totalling better scores when batting first would be high on RR's agenda. Kumar Sangakkara played down the issue on the eve of the match but three of the five defeats for his side have come batting first, with their average first innings score of 172 being the second worst this season. For the opening slot, Sangakkara threw his weight behind "very very good" Kohler-Cadmore after the batter's underwhelming initiation to IPL but also followed up with how the side has "other players also who can step up and open."

Injuries/unavailability: There are no reported injury concerns in the camp

Probable XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Sanju Samson (wk/c), Riyan Parag, Dhruv Jurel, Rovman Powell, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Sandeep Sharma, Avesh Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal [Nandre Burger/Donovan Ferreira]


 KKR would ideally love a few more runs from their captain Shreyas Iyer heading into the final week of the tournament. Iyer strike-rate (135.36), boundary% (17.9) and balls/maximum (21.2) lies significantly behind the other frontline batters in the side. Rahmanullah Gurbaz should be a straight swap for Phil Salt at the top of the order..

Injuries/unavailability: There are no reported injury concerns in the camp.

Probable XI: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rinku Singh, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Ramandeep Singh, Mitchell Starc, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakaravarthy [Impact Player: Vaibhav Arora/Suyash Sharma]