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IPL 2019 | KKR Set Sights on Ending Losing Streak Against RR

Cricketnext Staff |April 25, 2019, 2:32 AM IST
IPL 2019 | KKR Set Sights on Ending Losing Streak Against RR

Kolkata Knight Riders will be looking to end their five-match losing streak to keep their chances of qualifying for the playoffs alive when they take on Rajasthan Royals on Thursday.

Though Royals themselves are in a must-win situation, pressure will certainly be on KKR as they will be playing at home.

Even though Dinesh Karthik has made the cut to the World Cup squad, his own form with the bat has been a major worry. Karthik has scored only 117 runs in the tournament so far in 10 matches. His captaincy is also under the scanner, especially the handling of Andre Russell who has been in superhuman form with the bat but hasn't been facing as many deliveries as he'd like. He batted at no.7 in the previous game against SRH.

The KKR top-order too has been struggling, with Robin Uthappa being dropped in the previous game, Shubhman Gill and Chris Lynn too haven't been consistent with the bat.

The bowlers too have been letting the team down, with the likes of Kuldeep Yadav & Sunil Narine struggling to pick wickets and also leaking a lot of runs. Kuldeep was dropped in the previous game and KKR will be hoping that the break helps the wrist-spinner recover some confidence.

Royals meanwhile will be banking on Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer to deliver a perfect farewell gift as the two English stars play their final game before joining the England camp.

Archer has been the standout performer with the ball but Stokes has struggled to make an impact this season. Ajinkya Rahane roared back to form with a fine century against Delhi Capitals but that was overshadowed by Rishabh Pant's brilliance with the bat.

Smith too has scored back-to-back half-centuries since taking over the captaincy and will be looking to continue his form.

The bowling remains a weak point for the Royals with no-one except Archer and leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal picking regular wickets.

They find themselves in a must-win situation with just 4 games left and will also need some of the other results to go their way if they are to get to the playoffs.

Players to Watch Out For:

Ben Stokes - Though Ben Stokes hasn't been in the best of forms, he will be hoping to deliver the goods before he leaves to join the England squad. He can make an impact with both bat and ball, and the pitch at Eden Gardens should suit his strokeplay.

Andre Russell - It's difficult to look past Russell, given the kind of form he has been in this year's IPL. He has hit 41 sixes and is striking at the rate of 217.77 in this year's tournament. He will be hoping that he gets enough balls to leave an impact!

Team News:

KKR - Kuldeep Yadav is likely to return to the playing XI.

RR - Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer will be playing their final match for the Royals

Likely Playing XI:

RR - Sanju Samson, Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith, Riyan Parag, Ben Stokes, Ashton Turner, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat

KKR-  Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Harry Gurney, Prithvi Raj


Rajasthan Royals: Ajinkya Rahane, Krishnappa Gowtham, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Shreyas Gopal, Aryaman Birla, S. Midhun, Prashant Chopra, Stuart Binny, Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes, Steve Smith (Captain), Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer, Ish Sodhi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mahipal Lomror, Jaydev Unadkat, Varun Aaron, Oshane Thomas, Shashank Singh, Liam Livinstone, Shubham Rajane, Manan Vohra, Ashton Turner, Riyan Parag

Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (captain), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Joe Denly, Lockie Ferguson, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Harry Gurney, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Sandeep Warrier, K.C. Cariappa, Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Shrikant Mundhe, Nikhil Naik, Anrich Nortje, Prithvi Raj, Prasidh Krishna.​

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2 New Zealand 2547 111
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3663 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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1 England 5720 124
2 India 5990 122
3 New Zealand 4121 114
4 South Africa 4647 111
5 Australia 4805 109
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1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 Australia 5471 261
5 India 7273 260
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