Kolkata Knight Riders will eye an encore of Andre Russell's rampage, which powered them to a five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Friday, when they take on a shaky Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Sunday. Dinesh Karthik-led KKR are placed second in the points table with three wins in four matches and they will look to consolidate their position in Jaipur. Rajasthan, on the other hand, are second from bottom in the IPL Points Table with their only victory coming against bottom-placed RCB.
While Rajasthan are high on confidence after their maiden victory, the visitors will also be brimming with confidence with their batsmen Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Robin Uthappa and Shubhman Gill in top form.
Rajasthan bowlers Jofra Archer, Jaidev Unadkat and Ben Stokes have leaked runs in the death overs. They will have to rethink their strategy after Russell's sensational display of power hitting (48 off 13 balls) against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The biggest positive for the Royals has been Sherays Gopal, who, with his googlies, deceived the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Shimron Hetmyer, finishing off with 3 for 12.
Despite the victory against RCB, Royals will still look to iron out certain flaws which have plagued them recently.They have often failed to grab moments losing to Kings XI Punjab, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings after being in commanding position.
While star players, including Steve Smith and Ben Stokes, have failed to live up to the expectations, the likes of Sanju Samson, who had hit first ton of this IPL, Jos Buttler and captain Ajinkya Rahane have been good. Smith, although, scored 38 against RCB.
Meanwhile, KKR's bowling department, led by Sunil Naraine, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla, will look to exploit the wicket at Sawai Man Singh Stadium, which has played slow and low recently.
KKR will head to the game with the belief that the side can win from any situation, which they have demonstrated time and again.
Both teams will also have to deal with the soaring heat in the the Pink City with temperatures nearing 40 degrees celsius.
The Teams (From):
Rajasthan Royals: Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, Jos Buttler, Ashton Turner, Ish Sodhi, Oshane Thomas, Liam Livingstone, Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Shubham Ranjane, Stuart Binny, Shreyas Gopal, Sudhesan Midhun, Jaydev Unadkat, Prashant Chopra, Mahipal Lomror, Aryaman Birla, Riyan Parag, Dhawal Kulkarni, Krishnappa Gowtham, Varun Aaron, Shashank Singh, Manan Vohra, Rahul Tripathi
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (capt), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Nitish Rana, Nikhil Naik, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Harry Gurney, KC Cariappa and Yarra Prithviraj
Match starts at 8pm.
(With PTI inputs)