IPL 10, Match 30, RPS v KKR Preview: In-form sides aim winning momentum
Both teams come into the game riding on impressive wins against strong oppositions.
Published - Apr 25, 2017 10:29 pm | Updated - Apr 26, 2017 7:41 pm
After having beaten the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the previous game, the Kolkata Knight Riders are beaming with confidence. They are now up against an upbeat Rising Pune Supergiant unit who have found their form in the tournament. A couple of matches ago, the RPS were seen as the underdogs of the tournament with dwindling fortunes. However, the way they have stunned strong oppositions in the previous two games, they have certainly served their case.
RPS had beaten the Mumbai Indians in their own backyard at Wankhede in the previous game. They broke the unbeaten streak of 6 matches set by the Mumbai Indians. This would surely bolster their spirits coming into this game. KKR also had a dramatic win over RCB that sees them having the winning momentum too. Considering the most recent form, both teams look equally matched on paper. Expect a close game at hand when they lock horns at MCA Stadium, Pune.
The venue at Pune has not been the most favorable for RPS in the history of the tournament. They went without a win at Pune last year. This year has seen change in fortunes for them though. They have won two games at the venue and have lost one. However, it would be unfair to say they will have the home advantage. The Knight Riders have been an excellent visiting side. This only spices up the competition a shade more.
Toss: KKR won the toss & elected to bowl first
Steve Smith: Would have liked to bowl first, but need to make a good score and defend it. Three back-to-back matches here, need to make the most of home conditions. Unfortunately, Ben Stokes has a sore shoulder and he’s sitting out. He’s replaced by Faf du Plessis. Rahul Tripathi can bowl a bit, might need to make use of him tonight.
Gautam Gambhir: We will bowl first. The wicket will not change that much, will look to restrict them to a small score and chase it down. It was a professional performance from us last match, but that doesn’t happen all too often. Two changes for us, Darren Bravo and Piyush Chawla are in, Coulter-Nile is rested and Surya Kumar Yadav misses out.
Rising Pune Supergiant: Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith(c), Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni(w), Manoj Tiwary, Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir, Jaydev Unadkat
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir(c), Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa(w), Darren Bravo, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav
Focus will be on
MS Dhoni was the star of the show the last time RPS played a game at Pune. Now, Dhoni is back to the venue and he would like to make it count one more time. His heroics of an unbeaten 61 off 34 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad was his best show in the ongoing edition of the IPL. However, in the next match, he failed to back it up with another win. He was dismissed on 7 that came off 11 runs in the match against Mumbai Indians. Amidst this situation, a lot would be at stake for MSD to ensure that herculean knock was not a one hit wonder.
Yusuf Pathan has evolved to be a very mature and composed character for Kolkata Knight Riders in this edition of the IPL. He has got runs under his belt this season and would want to add more to his tally. In the last couple of games, Pathan has failed to make an impact despite having got an early opportunity in the match. However, knowing the hard hitting ability of the Baroda all-rounder, it won’t be surprising to see Yusuf getting back to his smashing best against RPS.
Rising Pune Supergiant have found a very able opener in Rahul Tripathi. Rahul has latched on to the limited opportunities that he has got in the tournament thus far. He started off his season with a couple of thirties. A big one from his bat was round the corner and it arrived when he hit his maiden fifty in the tournament soon. In the previous game against the Mumbai Indians, he hit a classy 45 at the top order and gave RPS a flying start in the match. The kind of form he has been, he will be a player to watch out for.
Rising Pune Supergiant
RPS did not tinker with their winning combination in the previous match. It is unlikely that they will make any changes in this particular game as well. Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi have got runs under their belt in the season thus far. The middle order looks a little fragile despite the big names in the list. The likes of Steven Smith, Ben Stokes and MS Dhoni have been very inconsistent with the bat.
Manoj Tiwary has proved to be the unsung hero of the side. He has emerged as the finisher for the side and has a few finishes to his name already. In the bowling lineup, Dan Christian has added stability to the Indian contingent of players. Jaydev Unadkat and Shardul Thakur have been performing decently as well. Imran Tahir has been the preferred spinner who has had his share of work done thus far. Washington Sundar has been a handy addition with his off spinners.
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Kolkata Knight Riders have always been known as the most balanced and consistent side in the IPL. In the previous game, they outplayed the Royal Challengers Bangalore – a team that is renowned as the batting heavyweight. Coming into the game against RPS, they will be sky high on confidence. Sunil Narine has been a super hit in the opening slot and Gautam Gambhir has been getting starts as well.
Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan have been among the runs this season but are yet to prove their consistency with the bat. Suryakumar has had too many failures now but is still expected to be retained by the team. The bowling looks supreme with Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Woakes and Umesh Yadav firing in with full intensity. At most, the Knight Riders might draft in Shakib Al Hasan at the expense of Colin de Grandhomme in the match.
2 – Number of times the two teams have faced off against one another in the IPL history. KKR have won on both occasions.
33 – Number of fifties hit by Gautam Gambhir in IPL – this is next to only David Warner’s tally of 34 fifties.
123 – Number of runs needed by Gautam Gambhir to complete 4000 runs in IPL.
3400 – Number of runs scored by MS Dhoni in IPL history – the 9th highest in the tournament.