The presence of top-performing Indian players such as Jitesh Sharma, who recorded 239 runs at a phenomenal strike rate of 165, and PrabhSimran Singh, who scored 219 runs with a strike rate of 152, typically bodes well for a team's performance in a tournament. However, Punjab's campaign has been less than satisfactory, with 5 wins and 5 losses from 10 games, leaving them in the 7th spot on the leaderboard. In addition to that they had good contributions from Atharva Taide and ShahRukh Khan in a few games.
Punjab can finally let out a sigh of relief as they no longer have any games scheduled at Mohali, where they gave up 257 runs to LSG and allowed MI to chase down 215 in their previous match. The team has had a tough time as they have conceded 200 or more runs in four consecutive games. One of the most significant disappointments in the death overs has been Sam Curran, who was outstanding in his performances from his comeback in September against Pakistan till the T20 World Cup, where he took approximately 25 wickets and displayed remarkable accuracy at the death. However, he has been unable to reproduce his form for the men in red.
On the other hand, Despite having a lackluster team on paper and grappling with injuries, the Kolkata Knight Riders managed to defy all odds and make a stunning comeback in the Indian Premier League. After a disappointing start to the tournament with a loss in the opening match, KKR seemed to have lost their way. However, in the next two games, they showcased remarkable resilience and grit, pulling off unexpected victories. One such instance was the miraculous chase engineered by Rinku Singh, who hammered five sixes in five balls in the last over, a feat that has never been achieved before in the history of IPL. Following their early successes, KKR seemed to have lost their momentum, and in retrospect, they may have made a significant error by not utilizing Jason Roy in the 11 earlier. Additionally, the performances of their two most important players, Narine and Russell, have been underwhelming. Narine's economy rate of 8.7, his highest in any season, and his tally of only seven wickets are concerning. Russell's form has been erratic, and he has been receiving limited opportunities to settle into his innings. The timing of his entry to the crease has also been puzzling. In the last game, he had a golden opportunity to take KKR to a big total but he fell for Markande’s bait. KKR pulled off an unexpected win by defending 38 off the last 5 overs.
Probable Playing XIs
Shikhar Dhawan, Prabhsmiran Singh, Liam Livingstone, Sikandar Raza, Jitesh Sharma, Shahrukh Khan, Sam Curran, Nathan Ellis, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahr, Arshdeep Singh
Kolkata Knight Riders
Jason Roy, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana (c), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Shardul Thakur, Sunil Narine, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakravarthy, Suyash Sharma
Punjab: W W L L W L W L W L
Kolkata: L W W L L L L W L W
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
-Average Total batting 1st: 163.6
-Average 1st innings winning total: 176.7
-Highest total: 235/4 by CSK v KKR, 2023
-Lowest total: 49 by RCB v KKR, 2017
-Total Match Played: 83
-Batting First Won: 34
-Batting Second Won: 49
Head to Head
Overall: KKR leads by 20-11
Batting 1st: 6-6
Batting 2nd: KKR leads by 14-5
Last 5 Matches: PBKS leads by 3-2
Most runs: Gautam Gambhir - 492
Most wkts: Sunil Narine - 33
Match Ups (IPL)
Dhawan v Narine: 91 off 82, 2 out
Dhawan v Thakur: 80 off 53, 3 out
Dhawan v Russell: 58 off 35, 1 out
Dhawan v Chakravarty: 42 off 40, 3 out
Curran v Narine: 37 off 18, 1 out
Russell v Chahar: 34 off 26, 0 out
Russell v Curran: 30 off 15, 2 out
Key Players and Fantasy Picks
With Gurbaz among runs, KKR have unleashed Roy and Gurbaz at top. The latter was unfortunate to miss out against GT. He has played 4 games so far and made an immediate effect so far with 43(39) against Delhi, 61(26) v CSK and 56(29) v RCB
Nitish Rana / Venkatesh Iyer
KKR’s top order has been a mess and they have tried 6 opening pairs, In addition to that Venaktesh Iyer has displayed blow hot blow cold form with just 2 good innings. An 80 odd against GT and a 100 against MI. The Skipper has 4 good outings so far with a notable SR of 149
With Sunil Narine having less impact, Varun has been KKR’s standout bowler so far 14 wkts. He won KKR last game by some outstanding bowling at the death against SRH.
After missing the 1st half of the season, Punjab have been strengthened by the addition of Liam. He had over 400 runs last year at an astonishing SR of 170+
Moreover, he is a sort of all-rounder who can bowl both leg spin and off spin.He has made immediate impact by playing a match changing innings against CSK and an 80 odd against Mumbai in the last match.
He created history by becoming Zim’s 1st player to win MoM award in the IPL against LSG and took PBKS over the line against CSK in their den. He is expected to replace Short in the 11