First things first, the match between Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) has a lot at stake. The NRR has troubled the Knight Riders from Kolkata several times in the past, in 2010, 2019 and recently 2020 where captain Morgan left it to the Gods to help KKR qualify for playoffs. This time though, KKR has the NRR on its side (+0.294) and all they need is a win against Rajasthan Royals to secure their place in the playoffs.
Rajasthan Royals, on the other hand, still have very slim chances of qualifying after their heavy defeat at the hands of Mumbai Indians. They now need to defeat KKR by a margin of 125 runs and then expect SRH to defeat MI by 40 runs. Huhh! Too much calculations .
Date – 7th October,2021 Venue – Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Time – 7:30 pm IST
KKR 12 – 11 RR
Pitch Report and Weather Forecast
Sharjah has seen the slowest and most low scoring encounters this season of IPL and it’s likely to remain the same even tonight. The seamers, having the best average here, are predicted to continue their good run. Temperature would be around 35° C with humid conditions.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Both the key players for KKR , Andre Russell and Lockie Ferguson were seen training and are “firing in full cylinders.”
Strength: The spin trio of Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine and Shakib Al Hasan has been doing great in keeping the economy rate at check in middle overs and also picking up crucial wickets. Gill scored a much needed 50 last game and that will boost his confidence.
Weakness: Morgan has an average of 11 this season. That’s the least for any batsman who has scored above 100 runs in a single season. Tim Southee hasn’t been able to provide the firepower in the bowling and KKR did feel Lockie’s absence.
Likely XI: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan(c), Shakib Al Hasan/Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Shivam Mavi, Tim Southee/Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakaravarthy.
Evin Lewis had some issues in the left ankle which needed to be addressed before the match.
Strength: Opening pair of Yashasvi Jaiswal and Evin Lewis has been giving the Rajasthan Royals some good start. Chetan Sakariya has impressed with his bowling, the slower ones and cutters.
Weakness: A shaky middle order and an ineffective lower middle order, batting seems to be a concern for the Rajasthan Royals. Their go-to bowlers Chris Morris and Mustafizur Rahman have been costly with the ball affecting their bowling performance.
Likely XI: Evin Lewis, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (wk & c), Shivam Dube, Glenn Phillips, David Miller/Liam Livingstone, Rahul Tewatia, Shreyas Gopal, Kuldip Yadav, Mustafizur Rahman, Chetan Sakariya.
Top 3 Fantasy Picks
Sanju Samson – Though he is inconsistent but when he is in flow can single handedly win you fantasy contests. A must pick in every game.
Venkatesh Iyer – Suddenly it seems Iyer has become a very obvious pick for fantasy, given that he bowls a few crucial overs and also opens the batting.
Shubman Gill – Opens with the bat, can carry the innings on his shoulder till the end, score runs and earn you points. You must include him in your fantasy XI.