Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) seem to be back on their winning ways with a fine performance against Royal Challengers Bangalore while Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) won the Maharashtra derby once again, beating Mumbai Indians. Both sides are looking good and KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir is leading from the front. Steve Smith too is quite upbeat as his side sees some key players finally delivering, which was sorely missing for them from their third match onward. This will be a key contest in the larger scheme of things.
Top 5 picks for RPS vs KKR match
Mahendra Singh Dhoni: The return of Dhoni is possibly the best news for RPS. He had been publicly criticised by people close to the franchise owners and was generally under pressure to perform. But he is back, which is bad news for the rivals.
Ben Stokes: With the richest purse in the IPL 2017 auction, the Englishman was under tremendous pressure to perform. He did so tellingly against Mumbai Indians as his side won crucial points in an away match.
Steve Smith: The pressure of captaincy seems to be having an effect on Smith's batting, but he is too good a batsman to miss out too often. On the day he delivers, RPS will be unstoppable.
Gautam Gambhir: The KKR captain has been at the business end of his team's campaign so far and he needs to stay there. His batting has been quite the cornerstone of the Kolkata's team's wins and that needs to be continued.
Nathan Coulter-Nile: The Australian fast bowler is among a battery of pace merchants in KKR, including Chris, Woakes, Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme. The Australia sent down a sensational spell which was largely instrumental in reducing Royal Challengers Bangalore to 49 all out, the lowest-ever score of IPL history.