IPL 2023: Match 53, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Predicted Playing XI vs Punjab Kings

KKR are currently eighth on the IPL Points Table.

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SRH vs KKR. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

In order to stay alive in the race to qualify for the IPL playoffs, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will need to bag two crucial points against Punjab Kings (PBKS)when they take on each other on Monday, May 8, at the iconic Eden Gardens. However, ahead of that, there are certain decisions that the team management will have to take to ensure they field the best possible team. 

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Rahmanullah Gurbaz failed to open his tally in the last match, and thus, KKR will be tempted to bring in Narayan Jagadeesan or even Johnson Charles, who recently signed for the two-time champions as Litton Das’s replacement. Umesh Yadav's availability is also a matter of discussion, and it needs to be seen if the management drops Sunil Narine from the playing XI since he is not delivering the goods at the moment. So, how can KKR line up against PBKS? Let’s dissect -

Here's Kolkata Knight Riders predicted XI against Punjab Kings:

Openers: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Jason Roy

Jason Roy
Jason Roy. (Photo Source: BCCI/IPL)

Despite not being able to perform as per expectations in the last match, Rahmanullah Gurbaz is likely to retain his spot in the playing XI as the Afghan-born batter smashed 81 runs off 39 deliveries in the match against Gujarat Titans earlier in the Indian Premier League 2023 season. He has the capability of scoring some quick runs, and it may help Kolkata, as they have a very poor record in the powerplay.

On the other hand, his opening partner Jason Roy is in brilliant form. The England international has smashed 180 runs in just four overs and has already rescued KKR a couple of times in the season. The 32-year-old is playing some brilliant cricket, and it will help the team against PBKS, as their bowlers are not in good form at the moment.

Middle Order: Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana (c), Rinku Singh

Rinku singh
Rinku singh. (Photo Source: BCCI/IPL)

Venkatesh Iyer has had a mixed season so far in the competition. In 10 matches so far, the Indore-born cricketer has scored 303 runs at a strike rate of 149.26. Despite so, there is a lot of room for improvement at the moment. Consistency has been a major problem for Iyer this season, as that is one area he needs to work on ahead of the business end of the tournament.

Skipper Nitish Rana is playing well in the ongoing season. The Southpaw has scored 275 runs in ten matches at a strike rate of 149.46. However, his captaincy is a matter of concern at the moment as he doesn’t have a lot of experience in it. Rana is getting better nevertheless and the team will hope that the Delhi-born cricketer can keep up with the job.

Whenever KKR have felt pressure, Rinku Singh has stepped up and delivered. Even in the last match, when the team lost four quick wickets, the Aligarh-born batter scored crucial 46 runs off 35 deliveries to bail his team out of a difficult situation. On the other hand, if he finds his mojo, Rinku can be as dangerous as anybody in the match.

All-rounders: Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur

Andre Russell Batting
Andre Russell Batting. (Photo Source :BCCI/IPL)

Andre Russell is yet to show his class with the bat in the ongoing season. The 35-year-old has scored 166 runs in ten matches, but on his day, the West Indies international can wreak havoc and destroy any bowling unit in the world. He has shown glimpses of his ability, and now, will hope to take it to the next level. Meanwhile, with the ball, Russell has been impressive, picking up seven wickets so far.

Sunil Narine’s form, meanwhile, is a matter of concern. The mystery spinner has picked up seven wickets in ten matches so far. With the bat, he has failed as well, and thus, the team management may consider dropping him for David Wiese. However, given the conditions at Eden Gardens, the home team can stick to Narine.

When it comes to Shardul Thakur, the all-rounder picked up two wickets in the last match, and that’s a positive sign for the two-time champions. He has the calibre to help KKR win matches on a consistent basis, and towards the fag end of the tournament, he can be a deadly weapon for the Knight Riders.

Bowlers: Vaibhav Arora, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakravarthy

Varun Chakaravarthy
Varun Chakaravarthy. (Photo Source: BCCI/IPL)

The pace duo of Vaibhav Arora and Harshit Rana doesn’t have enough experience at the moment but has done a decent job thus far. Harshit especially, has been economical and has been good in the death overs. Thus, the team management will very likely back them. However, a lot depends on Umesh Yadav’s availability. If the veteran pacer is fit enough, KKR may consider bringing him back.

Meanwhile, Varun Chakravarthy has been KKR’s biggest strength with the ball in the ongoing season. The 31-year-old has picked up 14 wickets in ten matches so far, and with that, he currently is eighth on the IPL Purple Cap list. Notably, in the last match, the Chennai-born cricketer defended nine runs in the final over of the match against SRH. Thus, his form can be a matter of concern for the PBKS batters in the upcoming match.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Probable Playing XI:

Jason Roy, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana (c), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Harshit Rana, Vaibhav Arora, Varun Chakaravarthy

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Probable Impact Players

Kulwant Khejroliya, Anukul Roy, Mandeep Singh, Suyash Sharma, Lockie Ferguson

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