Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Punjab Kings (PBKS) will battle it out against each other for the Match 45 of the Indian Premier League (IPL). After having won two consecutive matches in the UAE leg of the tournament, the former had to face a defeat in what was a last-ball thriller against Chennai Super Kings (CSK). However, KKR exuded some great character to emerge triumphant against the in-form Delhi Capitals in their previous match.
The KL Rahul-led side, on the other hand, has been struggling to make an impact. The team did secure a win against SRH, defending a low total of 125 but couldn’t carry their momentum further. They lost their previous match to MI by six wickets after their batting line-up experienced a collapse.
Heading into this match, Punjab will be keen to win the match to keep their hopes of making it to the play-offs alive. Whereas KKR has promoted themselves to the fourth spot of the points table and will aim to further strengthen their position.
Spinners are expected to get an edge on this pitch. Batting first should be the way forward on this surface of the Dubai International Stadium.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan(c), Dinesh Karthik(wk), Sandeep Warrier, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Tim Southee
KL Rahul (c, wk), Mandeep Singh, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Chris Gayle, Ravi Bishnoi, Nathan Allis, Harpreet Brar, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami
He has been exceptional for Kolkata Knight Riders. He can contribute with both the bat and the ball. In the previous match against Delhi Capitals, he picked up two wickets. Narine also played a quick cameo of a 10-ball 21 to fashion the team’s victory. He will be keen on performing for the side.
Ravi Bishnoi has impressed everybody with his bowling in the last two matches. He scalped the two crucial wickets of Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav against MI. Before that, against Hyderabad, Bishnoi starred with the ball clinching three wickets. The team will pin their hopes on him to deliver for the side and help them keep their hopes of play-offs alive.