IPL 2018: Match 49, Player Battles – Jos Buttler vs Sunil Narine

Sunil Narine has been the leading wicket-taker for KKR with 14 wickets in the 12 matches.

Jos Buttler
Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler celebrates his half-century. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

The Rajasthan Royals were quite late but sensible in promoting Jos Buttler as an opener which changed their implication in the playoffs race. The England keeper-batsman scored fifties in all the five innings where he opened which resulted in team’s hat-trick wins. In this process, Royals defeated Kings XI Punjab and Mumbai Indians who were front-runners in making it to the playoffs before they faced them. They will now face Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens and a win here will nearly confirm their spot in the playoffs.

With KKR and RR are on the same lines with six wins apiece at the moment, the winner of this match will have the chance of finishing in the final four in their hands while the loser will have to rely on the results of the other matches. It will be interesting to see how KKR will manage to tame the Royals have lost three of the six home matches they played this season. At the same time, RR have won an IPL match once at the Eden Gardens that too back in 2008.

The Kolkata Knight Riders‘ bowling attack containing the spin trio could come handy against the Rajasthan Royals in keeping down the run flow. However, Buttler has always been a good player of spin and has dismantled a couple of good ones in the tournament so far. As Buttler aims for a 6th consecutive fifty that could rewrite the IPL and Twenty20 format records, he will have a cushion of playing against Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav.

Jos Buttler vs Sunil Narine:

JOS-BUTTLER-vs-SUNIL-NARINE-in-ipl

The trio always been known for producing the chances but haven’t been the same this season. Both the wrist spinners Chawla and Kuldeep have been taken for runs and couldn’t add any big numbers to the wickets column. Sunil Narine could be the ideal option at this point for KKR to stop Buttler get going once again. Narine bowled only 17 balls to the RR opener in the IPL thus far conceding 21 runs and dismissing him once.

(Stats as on May 14, 2018)