The bad patches of the two most successful teams in the IPL, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Mumbai Indians (MI), are continuing. Both sides are sailing in the same boat. Their challenge seemed to be over earlier in this edition.
Gujarat Titans (GT) have been occupying the top position in the points table. GT showed their prowess by overpowering CSK by three wickets at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune yesterday. David Miller played a match-winning knock, scoring a swashbuckling 94 runs in 51 deliveries, which proved too hot for CSK in the end.
In another match, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) continued their winning streak, defeating Punjab Kings by seven wickets. Young sensation Umran Malik once again stole the show, grabbing four wickets. His remarkable pace mesmerised the Punjab Kings batters and contented them for just 151 runs. Besides the skipper, Williamson, other batters chipped in with crucial runs as well, which helped SRH cross the line easily with seven wickets remaining.
RR to face KKR tonight
Time has come for all team management to think about how to move ahead to remain in the contest. In this process, tonight, Rajasthan Royal (RR) is set to take on Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai. RR and KKR have been occupying the fifth and sixth spots on the points table.
Kolkata Knight Riders are desperate for a victory against Rajasthan Royals after two comprehensive defeats. KKR, as a unit, failed to perform consistently. Venkatesh Iyer’s poor form has created trouble for KKR in the opening slot, managing to score 103 runs in 5 innings at 20.60. The middle-order too is struggling to click at the right moment. Andre Russell is the team’s best bet, having scored 179 runs in six matches also taking five wickets.
KKR bowlers need to contain opponents
KKR started this season on an impressive note, winning three matches from four outings. After that, the performance of the franchise started deteriorating. Their bowlers have failed miserably in the last two games. Varun Chakravarthy and pacer Pat Cummins appear to have lost their old bowling magic, leaking easy runs.
The batting unit of KKR has not looked solid. Skipper Shreyas lyer’s poor form is an issue for the team management. He has just one half-century in his kitty in six matches. The inconsistency of Nitesh Rana and Venkatesh Iyer has sent the team management into a state of wariness. Sam Billings is struggling with the bat and appears to be clueless on Indian tracks.
Buttler, Chahal key players for RR
The Rajasthan Royals have several issues to sort out before tonight’s match. RR kicked off their campaign in style, but slowly lost ground. Due to a lack of consistency, opponents were able to cut their size short.Therefore, today’s match is crucial for RR to grab two crucial points.
Two franchise players are in tremendous form. Jos Buttler’s bat has been throbbing a lot. Currently, he is the highest run getter in the ongoing IPL, scoring 272 runs with a remarkable average of 68. Yuzvendra Chahal has the ability to make opposing batters dance with his spin. He is the leading wicket-taker in this IPL, grabbing 12 wickets from 5 matches with an economy of 6.80.
At the outset, it looks like the chasing team will have an extra yard on the Brabourne track. The dew factor doesn’t matter in April’s soaring temperatures. The coin is important for both the teams. It is expected that winning captains would like to bowl first.
As per the head-to-head records, Kolkata Knight Riders are marginally ahead of Rajasthan Royals. KKR won 13 and RR was able to trounce KKR 11 times. Recent records have been proving a one sided affair and are tilting in favour of KKR. Since the 2018 IPL, KKR has overpowered RR 7 times out of their 9 clashes.
It seems that the Rajasthan Royals are favourites in tonight’s encounter, but cricket is a funny game, especially in the shortest format, where a couple of overs can change the complexion of the match. One thing is clear: the epic battle between KKR and RR will be full of entertainment.