IPL 2019 – Match 52: Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders – KKR Predicted Playing XI

IPL 2019 – Match 52: Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders – KKR Predicted Playing XI

Despite Sunil Narine not being very good with the ball, he has been best for the Kolkata unit.

Andre Russell
Andre Russell. (Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

After the first couple of weeks, this season, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) seemed at the top of the world. They found ways to win games from nowhere and it was mostly due to one man, Andre Russell. The Jamaican all-rounder has had a fabulous season and has been the lone warrior for KKR.

They lost six games in a row as they slumped from the top to the bottom half of the table. However, they did register a morale-boosting win against Mumbai Indians. The openers stepped up and then the move to send Andre Russell at No. 3 worked wonders. The bowlers backed up the good work by the batsmen to keep KKR in contention for the playoffs.

With two games to go, KKR needs to win both their games to stay alive in this tournament. They play Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in Mohali, a venue where the Punjab unit has done well. Hence, KKR has a stiff challenge ahead of them and they will be under pressure in what is a must-win game for both sides.

Openers (Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill)

The opening stands were a problem for KKR. Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine were not giving them the starts they were looking for. Hence, KKR changed things up and gave Shubman Gill an opportunity to open the batting and he hasn’t disappointed. In the last game, he scored a fine 76 off 45 balls as he gave KKR a great platform.

Chris Lynn has blown hot and cold like never before this season. In the last seven games, he’s scored four half-centuries. However, in the other three games, he’s been able to score just one run. Hence, KKR will be hoping Lynn produces some sort of consistency.

Middle-order (Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik, Rinku Singh)

Robin Uthappa was dropped after his sluggish 20-ball 9 against RCB. However, he returned to the XI in the last game but didn’t get to bat. Hence, he will most likely continue to hold on to his place. Nitish Rana has been decent this season. Like every year, he started off the season with a bang but has fallen off a bit. However, he is KKR’s joint-second highest run-getter this season and looked like regaining his form when he scored 85 against RCB.

Dinesh Karthik has struggled quite a bit in this season. He had just one fifty in the first 10 games but he seems to have found his mojo back. He scored a terrific unbeaten 97 against RR while he remained unbeaten on 15 in the last game. Rinku hasn’t got a lot of opportunities with the bat. He’s batted in two innings and in one of them remained unbeaten and played just three balls.

All-rounder (Andre Russell)

This season, KKR has largely been defined by one man and that is Andre Russell. He has delivered almost every time he’s stepped on to the field. He’s hitting the ball as well as anybody. His strike-rate of 207.69 is the highest in this season. The hard-hitting Jamaican all-rounder has chipped in with the ball too. He’s picked up 10 wickets in as many innings.

Bowlers (Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Harry Gurney, Sandeep Warrier)

The bowling has been a huge let down for KKR this season. They haven’t picked a lot of wickets. Sunil Narine has been good this season but hasn’t picked up a lot of wickets. He has been one of the better bowlers for KKR this season. Piyush Chawla has been expensive but is the joint-highest wicket-taker for KKR this season (10 wickets).

Harry Gurney has been in and out of the side but has picked up six wickets in as many games. Meanwhile, Sandeep Warrier replaced Prasidh Krishna and was good on debut. Though he didn’t pick up a wicket, he kept things quiet and gave away just 29 runs in a game where boundaries and runs flew at a really quick rate.

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