IPL 2023 | Predicted Playing XIs for Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals
RR are fifth in the IPL 2023 points table [Source: Twitter]
Match No. 56 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 will see two princely teams Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) clash against each other at Eden Gardens tomorrow, with the race to playoffs heating up.
KKR have managed to overturn their fortunes after a poor start to the season, winning three out of their last four matches, while RR has spiraled down the leaderboard drastically, losing four of their last five encounters.
Both sides are sitting on 10 points, with RR just ahead due to a superior net run rate. With a place in the playoffs ever so near, let's take a look at the predicted XI for these former IPL-winning sides.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
Openers: Jason Roy and Rahmanullah Gurbaz
Jason Roy's inclusion in the KKR XI has been a breath of fresh air. Roy, in just five matches, has slammed 218 runs, as compared to Rahmanullah Gurbaz, who has been unwelcoming mostly.
Gurbaz has blown hot and cold, however, with a stable partner in Roy, the Afghanistan batter could easily display his belligerent best in the remaining games.
Middle Order: Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, and Andre Russell
With one of the most explosive middle-order, KKR's surge has been mainly due to their power-hitter coming back into form. Andre Russell's return to form spell dooms for opponents, as seen against Punjab Kings.
They will be worried about Venkatesh Iyer's poor run, after beginning the tournament with a bang, slamming his maiden T20 ton against Mumbai Indians. Rinku Singh's finishing skills will once again be needed, knowing how well RR spinners can stranglehold their opposition.
Bowlers: Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Vaibhav Arora, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakaravarthy
Apart from Sunil Narine, KKR spinners have led their bowling, with Varun Chakaravarthy coming into his own. Youngster Suyash Sharma has also stepped up in his maiden IPL season. Nitish Rana has covered for Narine quite well, however, KKR will bank on the West Indies spinner to come good.
Shardul Thakur, who is regained full fitness will be available to bowl, which adds substance to their wafer-thin pace attack.
Predicted Playing XI of Kolkata Knight Riders
Jason Roy, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana (c), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Vaibhav Arora, Harshit Rana, and Varun Chakaravarthy.
Suyash Sharma, Anukul Roy, N Jagadeesan, Lockie Ferguson, Kulwant Khejroliya
Rajasthan Royals (RR)
Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler
One of the most destructive duos this season, both Yashasvi Jaiswal and Jos Buttler have been ensuring the Royals get off to a flier in almost every match. Buttler came into this own last match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, missing out on a well-deserved ton by five runs.
The second-highest run-getter (477) this season Jaiswal shows no stopping, rapidly closing the gap between himself and Faf du Plessis (576).
Sanju Samson (wk & c), Joe Root, Dhruv Jurel, Shimron Hetmyer
RR's middle-order, who were scoring runs for fun earlier, have found it difficult to maintain their momentum. Apart from Sanju Samson, Dhruv Jurel and Shimron Hetmyer have been mostly cold in the second half of the tournament.
Joe Root, who made his debut against SRH, will most likely play the sheet anchor role, in case the top-order fails. The management would want to fit in Devdutt Padikkal seeing how the middle-order has struggled against spinners.
Ravichandran Ashwin, Adam Zampa, Sandeep Sharma, Kuldip Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal
Royals will want to exploit KKR's weakness against spinners and play as many three attacking bowlers as Ravichandran Ashwin, Adam Zampa, and Yuzvendra Chahal.
With Murugan Ashwin taking a battering against SRH, they will want to make use of Zampa's experience at Eden Gardens. A rare slip-up from Sandeep Sharma cost them their last match, however, his credentials cannot be overlooked.
The toss-up for the second fast bowler will be between Kuldip Yadav and Kuldeep Sen, with the former getting the green signal.
Predicted Playing XI of Rajasthan Royals
Yashasvi Jaiswal, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson (wk & c), Joe Root, Dhruv Jurel, Shimron Hetmyer, Ravichandran Ashwin, Adam Zampa, Sandeep Sharma, Kuldip Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal
Devdutt Padikkal, Murugan Ashwin, Riyan Parag, Jason Holder, Obed McCoy