IPL 10, Match 30, RPS v KKR: Kolkata Knight Riders Predicted XI

With a hefty net run rate, the Knight Riders will look to register a victory against RPS which will propel them to the top.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo Source: BCCI)

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Scenes of mayhem at the Eden Gardens which witnessed the Royal Challengers Bangalore slump to a new low, are yet to sink in for the Kolkata Knight Riders. KKR would have considered themselves out of the game at the halfway mark, as the visitors’ beefy batting line-up needed a mere 132 to breach the hosts’ fortress.

What ensued was downright bizarre. Virat Kohli’s golden duck set off a procession of RCB batsmen who came to the crease only to be walking back minutes later. Reckless batting and poor shot selection cost Royal Challengers Bangalore a game which they had in the bag.

Gautam Gambhir unleashed an all-pace attack to bundle RCB out for a mere 49, much to the surprise and the delight of the Eden Gardens crowd – which had fallen silent after the end of the first innings. Nathan Coulter-Nile bagged his second Man of the Match award with figures of 3/21.

The Aussie speedster ran through the RCB top order, picking up the huge wickets of Kohli, AB de Villiers and Kedar Jadhav. England’s Chris Woakes finally had a day with an economical spell. Both Woakes and Colin de Grandhomme bagged 3 a piece, leaving Umesh Yadav one wicket to show for in his column.

All’s well that ends well they say, and the Kolkata Knight Riders would be mighty pleased with their bowling performance. However, the RCB game highlighted KKR’s vulnerability to spin. Put in to bat first, the Knight Riders found themselves struggling at 93/6, halfway through the 12th over.

Had it not been for a crucial 27-run partnership between Woakes and Suryakumar Yadav, KKR might have been dismissed under 100. The Knight Riders will, therefore, have to ensure that their otherwise consistent batsmen don’t succumb to the spinners in their next game.

Ahead lies a challenging team for the Kolkata Knight Riders, who have bagged three wins on the trot. The Rising Pune Supergiant have momentum on their side and will look to take advantage of home turf at the MCA Stadium.

Here’s a look at CricTracker’s predicted XI for the Kolkata Knight Riders as they take on the Rising Pune Supergiant in Pune:

Openers (Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir)

The Knight Riders’ batting line-up might have struggled against spin, but it was just another day at the office for newfound all-rounder Sunil Narine. Known for his miserly spells and his game-changing ability with the ball, Narine has shown that he is nothing short of a top order batsman.

Given the opportunity to open the batting, Narine has already amassed 121 runs this season. He finds himself at second place in the list of players with highest strike rates, behind KKR’s mighty Chris Lynn.

Sunil Narine top scored for the Knight Riders against RCB with a 17-ball 34. Remarkably, Narine has played proper cricketing shots. Eventually, there’s only that much that a bowler can do to stop Narine’s onslaught. Regardless of who the bowler is, this is a man whose job is to smack every ball to the boundary.

At the other end, Gautam Gambhir has looked to play the anchor’s role while Narine has been the clear aggressor. Following his two unbeaten 70+ scores, Gambhir has got off to starts. However, the captain would be disappointed having not converted them.

Middle order (Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Colin de Grandhomme)

The previous match was obviously a let-down for Uthappa and Pandey who were dismissed just as they were beginning to look good. Although Manish Pandey got to his 15 with a sub-100 strike rate, Robin Uthappa looked in fine touch. Nevertheless, neither lasted at the crease for too long as they fell to RCB’s two leggies.

In all fairness, these are two batsmen who exude confidence at the crease. Uthappa, in particular, has already played two long innings. His 72 against the Gujarat Lions was particularly one of his better IPL knocks, as Uthappa creamed 8 boundaries along with smashing 2 sixes. He’s also been tidy with the gloves for KKR.

Manish Pandey, on the other hand, has been Mr Dependable for the Knight Riders. He’s consistently been amongst the runs for his side this season averaging a massive 86, the second highest after the big man Chris Lynn. His unbeaten 69 against the Delhi Daredevils took KKR over the finish line with 1 ball to spare.

As for Suryakumar Yadav, he’s had a quiet IPL so far. In spite of earning a reputation of being a finisher, Surya has failed to cash in on the opportunities given to him in this tournament so far. The Mumbai batsman has scored a meagre 44 runs in 7 matches that he’s played. If he has a chance to bat against RPS, he will look to dispatch the likes of Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur who still lack the experience of bowling at the death.

Allrounders (Colin de Grandhomme, Yusuf Pathan)

Save Yusuf Pathan, KKR’s middle-order has looked slightly worn out. Pathan too has had just the one big knock to show for. His 59 though was instrumental in KKR’s thrilling victory over the Delhi Daredevils. There’s a lot riding on the big man. Of late, Pathan hasn’t looked like the batsman who decimated any bowler that ran up to him.

However, this is a man who has provided some crucial knocks lower down the order which have powered KKR to memorable victories. He is also a useful bowler with his off-spinners and Gambhir has used him time and again as a partnership breaker.

Colin de Grandhomme has been a clear disappointment with the bat. The big man from New Zealand boasts of an impressive strike rate in excess of 170 but has failed to bring the party to the IPL. De Grandhomme had his stint as an opener on one occasion but has mainly featured in KKR’s middle order. In the three matches, he’s batted so far, the Kiwi all-rounder has scored just 1 run.

Bowlers (Chris Woakes, Trent Boult, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav)

Although the Kolkata Knight Riders don’t possess the bigger names in pace bowling, they certainly have the best trio of seamers at work. Chris Woakes, despite being a tad bit expensive, has gone wicketless on just one occasion in the IPL so far. Woakes will look to mend his economy rate which is currently north of 9. However, the Englishman has already picked up 10 wickets and will look to extend his tally in the second half of the tournament.

Umesh Yadav has developed into arguably the fiercest fast bowler India has ever produced. Pace and bounce is a deadly combination by itself. But Umesh also gets the ball to skid off the wicket, which baffles the best of batsmen. Although the paceman grabbed just the one wicket against RCB, his 3 overs tested Bangalore’s top order.

Nathan Coulter-Nile did well in the last game but considering his work load the team management has decided to rest him from the game. New Zealand pacer Trent Boult who played the first four matches should find his spot back in the team. He picked just two wickets, was expensive as well and thus the management decided to look ahead of him but considering the options in hand Boult will have another go at making an impact for KKR.

Last, Kuldeep Yadav, India’s new kid on the block in Test cricket, has also featured consistently amongst the wickets for KKR. Following his stunning Test debut, Kuldeep has suddenly become a force to reckon with. His intelligent use of the googlies keeps him in hot contention for leg-befores. Although he didn’t get to bowl against RCB, the youngster has picked up 6 wickets in this season so far.

The Kolkata Knight Riders look one of the more balanced sides in the IPL, who have made lasting impressions with both bat and ball. KKR are currently second in the table with 10 points. With a hefty net run rate, the Knight Riders will look to register a victory against RPS which will propel them to the top.