It is time for match no. 53 and KKR will be up against Rajasthan Royals. These two teams have been rather inconsistent in the tournament so far. While Rajasthan are striking form late in the tournament — with two back to back wins, Kolkata fortunes have been on a downward spiral. With the playoffs places up for grabs, both teams would be looking to win the battle. Cricketnext takes a look at the potential battles, that could shape the match –
Jofra Archer vs Shubman Gill
While one has emerged as the best bowler in the tournament, the other has been the most consistent batsman for their team so far. Archer up against Gill, will be an exciting contest to watch. The bowler has 19 wickets so far in the tournament, and has picked up four of these in the first six overs. That means he would be a threat in the opening over, and the death as well. Archer has managed to trouble the batsmen with his extra pace. On the other hand, Gill has over 400 runs this season. He would be looking to take on Archer and ruin his match-figures.
Ben Stokes vs Sunil Narine
Stokes has hit a purple patch in the IPL, and has scored a ton and a fifty in his last two matches. Almost single-handedly he has kept Rajasthan alive in the tournament. Once again the onus will be on him to play a swashbuckling innings. But he could face Narine early in the match, who could slow down his scoring-rate. The off-spinner doesn’t give any room to the batsmen to free arms. If he can tie Stokes, down his wicket could just be around the corner.
Sanju Samson vs Lockie Ferguson
Samson is excellent against pacers, but Ferguson will look to pepper him with a lot of short-length deliveries, that could put the Rajasthan batsman in trouble. Although he has found a way to deal with the short-pitch stuff, but it would still be difficult and Ferguson’s pace. In fact his slower deliveries too are effective and rarely batsmen seem to pick them up. If Rajasthan can see off Samson early, that could be a big bonus for Kolkata.