Dubai: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)) will square off against Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the match no. 12 of the Dream11 Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium here on Wednesday.
KKR have had a mixed fortune during their first two games of the season. While they lost their opening game against Mumbai Indians (MI), the Dinesh Karthik-led side bounced back in style to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by seven wickets to register their first win in the IPL 2020.
RR, on the other hand, has been on an absolute roll with the bat in IPL 2020, and remain the only side who has hammered scores of 200+ twice in a row and emerged triumphant as many times.
In their first game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK), batting first, RR scored 216 and beat CSK by 16 runs. In their second game, RR, needing 224 runs to win, they defeated Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), pulling off the highest successful run-chase in IPL history.
Both teams have a perfect blend of youngsters and experienced players. The teams at both ends are fairly balanced since the skippers have now tried their combinations in the initial matches.
Having won 10 games each against each other, nothing separates these two sides in terms of their head-to-head record. While KKR currently enjoys a better record (4-1) when one looks at the last five games these two sides have played, RR has come out on top in these two teams' last meeting.
Sanju Samson is just creaming the cricket ball and scoring runs for fun in the IPL 2020. Two games, two fifty-plus scores, 159 runs at a strike-rate close to 215. Having scored 74 and 85 runs respectively in RR's first two games, the right-hander has been pivotal to RR's success and hence, remains a player to watch out for during his side's third game of the season.
The promising young Indian batsman Shubman Gill was a treat to watch during his match-winning 62-ball 70-run unbeaten knock against SRH. Shubman Gill hit 5 fours and 2 sixes to guide KKR to their first win. With KKR targeting a second win on the bounce, they will want Gill to come good and continue his batting form in the game against RR.
Pat Cummins did not have a good game as KKR opened their IPL 2020 campaign, but the champion bowler that he is, Pat Cummins, opening the bowling in the second game against MI, set the tone for KKR's approach. The Australian speedster returned with the figures of 1/19 as KKR went on to secure their first win of IPL 2020.
Rahul Tewatia took three wickets in his first game on RR return as they beat CSK, and then, given a promotion to bat at number four in the tall chase of 224, Tewatia overcame the initial struggles to turn the match on its head with five sixes in one over and scored 53 off 31 balls. RR will be more than happy if he delivers once again and plays a role in their third win in a row in the IPL 2020.
Steve Smith, one of the finest modern-day batsmen, has led from the front, scoring fifties during his side's wins against CSK and KXIP, and he will be eager to continue his batting form as RR, facing KKR, look to complete a hat-trick of wins in the IPL 2020 and add two more points to their account.
Nitish Rana got the starts in both the matches KKR played in the IPL 2020 so far, but he somehow could not convert them into big scores. He scored 26 off 13 against MI and 24 off 18 versus SRH. The game against RR could be the chance he is looking for, to score big.
This will be RR's 150th IPL match, Sanju Samson and Jos Buttler need 132 and 110 runs respectively to complete 2500 and 1500 IPL runs, Robin Uthappa needs 1 fifty and 75 runs respectively to complete 25 IPL fifties and 4500 IPL runs, Dinesh Karthik needs 40 runs to complete 1000 IPL runs as captain and Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell require 88 and 89 runs respectively to complete 1000 and 1500 IPL runs.(UNI)