IPL 2019: Match 43, KKR vs RR, Preview: Knights in the dark to take on Royals

Kuldeep Yadav to make a comeback in place of KC Cariappa while Matthew Kelly would replace Harry Gurney.

Steve Smith, IPL, IPL 2019
Steve Smith. (Photo: IANS)

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Remember that night when Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine overshadowed Steve Smith‘s belligerent 73? In their first meeting, this season KKR has comfortably carved out an 8-wicket win against Rajasthan Royals. After playing 5 matches, the Royals will again lock horns with the Purple outfits. What did RR learn from failures? Are they up to the mark to beat the traditional heavyweights?

Their form hit a new low as the Knight Riders lost five matches on the trot. Well, Royals have been on and off this season, they lost their previous match against Delhi Capitals by 6 wickets. But of late, Knight Riders seems to be impromptu with their batting line up. They have been following the same pattern since the first match of this edition. The first time when Royals lost, Ajinkya Rahane was at the helm but now it is Smith’s turn to spew venom on their rivals, who they got thrashed a fortnight ago.

Team Combinations

Kolkata Knight Riders

Kolkata Knight Riders to some extent were dependent on Russell. But, the top order is trying to wipe out the tag of one man dependency. The duo of Chris Lynn and Naraine are giving a good start since a couple of matches. Also, Rana has been putting up a modest score. But, it’s important for Robin Uthappa to display his vintage sparkles. Also, there is a reason for Dinesh Karthik to stand up to the billing. Kuldeep Yadav and Matthew Kelly to replace KC Cariappa and Harry Gurney.

Probable XI: Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Prithvi Raj, Kuldeep Yadav, Matthew Kelly.

Rajasthan Royals

Steve Smith would want his team to go as is. But, they might require to tinker with the batting order. They could send Riyan Parag a position up the ladder, and that’s the least Smith & Co do. The 17-year-old has been good with the bat as he got only three balls to play in the previous match of which he hit a boundary. Also, the right-handed offie, scalped a wicket in three overs bowling spells.

Probable XI: Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson (wk), Steve Smith (c), Ben Stokes, Ashton Turner, Stuart Binny, Riyan Parag, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni.

Focus will be on

Kolkata Knight Riders: Sunil Narine

For Sunil Narine, it has been a drab outing so far. It’s time for him to step up and contribute to his team with both bat and ball. So far he has scored 132 runs in eight matches he played while he picked up 6 wickets. Playing at home, there would be an advantage of home supporters, the stands flock with people so it is important for the home team to give their best. Eden Gardens has been a spin pitch which can be an advantage for the Caribbean spinner.

Rajasthan Royals: Steve Smith

Steve Smith has been captain for the pink outfits for the last two games of which they won one. Still, there is a possibility for Royals to make playoffs but also depends on the captain as well. In the previous match, he hammered a half-ton but the limelight was hogged by Ajinkya Rahane who scored a tremendous 105 not out. It’s time for Rajasthan Royals to up the ante as the Knight Riders has defeated four times in the last four times they met. So, it depends upon the captain of the ship to steer his team on the winning path. Despite the injury, the Australian has been doing good. Let’s wait and see what wonders he can do on Thursday.


Matches: 20 | KKR won: 10 | RR won: 09

Stat Attack

42.80 – Steve Smith’s average against Knight Riders is 42.80 in 8 innings as he scored 214 which comprises 2 fifties.

Broadcast Details

TV: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Select HD

Live Streaming: Hotstar

Match Timings: 20:00 IST.

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