Kolkata have excelled in the batting with Shubman Gill solid at the top of the order. With Rahul Tripathi’s success in the last game, the experiment with Sunil Narine as opener can stay on the backfoot. Eoin Morgan has lent some much-needed solidity to the middle-order and Nitish Rana has also played some impressive knocks. KKR would now want their seniors, all-rounder Andre Russell and skipper Dinesh Karthik to get their act right with the bat.
If you look at KKR’s bowling, the upcoming duo of Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi has provided solid support to Pat Cummins. In the spin department, Sunil Narine made an impact for the first time against Chennai while Varun Chakravarthy has had a couple of memorable games.
KXIP have been heavily reliant on their prolific opening duo of captain KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. The only positive from their loss to SRH was the batting effort of Nicholas Pooran, who made a blazing half-century. In the event of Chris Gayle having recovered from food poisoning, he is likely to replace the out of sorts Glenn Maxwell.
Punjab’s bowlers have not have a good time of it, especially in the death overs, with even the versatile Mohammed Shami conceding plenty. This is one area they will need to seriously work on.
Head-to-Head Record: KKR have won 17 and lost 8 out of 25 games against KXIP
KXIP Predicted XI: KL Rahul (c), Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Prabhsimran Singh(wk), Hardus Viljoen, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammad Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh
KKR Predicted XI: Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik(c & wk), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, CV Varun
The pitch has been a challenging one for the batsmen. The surface has got slower as the match has progressed.
The temperature will be in the low to mid-30s. Being a day game would make it tougher for the players