Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) turned the tables as soon as they kicked off their UAE leg of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021. They came into the 2nd half of the tournament with the need of winning 6 of their 7 matches. While they have won 3 out of 4 so far, the loss against Chennai Super Kings have somewhat put them on the backfoot, they still have their playoff fortunes in their own hands and have a strong chance of qualifying (4th in points table).
Punjab Kings (PBKS) are at 6th in the points table with 8 points in 11 games. They are to blame their middle and lower middle order to put them in this situation. After a morale-affecting defeat at the hands of Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians, PBKS are now in a must win situation and also should await a few results to go in their favour.
Date – 1st October, 2021
Venue – Dubai International Cricket Stadium
Time – 7:30 pm IST
KKR 19 – 9 PBKS
Pitch Report and Weather Forecast
Batting conditions are set to improve. The weather is likely to remain cool in the evening.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Andre Russell is set to miss out. Dinesh Karthik in the post match conference said the issue which forced Lockie out of the field isn’t something serious.
Strength: Nitish Rana scored useful 30s in KKR’s last 2 matches, which brings some life into the middle order. The bowling lineup looks pretty well organised with Narine keeping the run rate at check and Lockie and Varun Chakravarthy picking up wicket in crucial times
Weakness: Captain Morgan’s form has been a spot of bother for Kolkata Knight Riders. The middle order looks inconsistent.
Likely XI: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Sandeep Warrier, Varun Chakravarthy.
Chris Gayle has left the IPL bio-bubble and won’t be available for selection in the remainder of the season. Mayank Agarwal had a stiff back but is likely to be fit into the XI tonight.
Strength: Mayank Aggarwal is batting fluently and he along with KL Rahul has been able to provide a good start for PBKS. The bowling seems to be above par.
Weakness: The middle order seems to choke under pressure, Markram and Pooran have been inconsistent with regards to finishing innings. They will miss the Universe Boss for the rest of the season.
Likely XI: KL Rahul (wk & c), Mandeep Singh/Mayank Agarwal, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Fabian Allen, Harpreet Brar, Nathan Ellis, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh.
Top 3 Fantasy Picks
KL Rahul – Though strike rate is a concern at times, the heavy and consistent run flow isn’t one for KL. He can build an innings from the 1st ball, score runs and earn you points.
Venkatesh Iyer – Suddenly it seems Iyer has become a very obvious pick for fantasy, given that he bowls 3-4 overs and also opens the batting.
Shubman Gill – Similar to KL Rahul, Shubman can anchor an innings right from the start, score runs and earn you crucial points.