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Punjab Kings face off Kolkata Knight Riders in the 45th match of IPL 2021 on Friday. The two sides will be taking on each other for the second time this season. Kolkata Knight Riders won the game by 5 wickets when last time these two sides squared up against each other.
Punjab Kings would be looking to make things even on Friday, though they have more than just that one reason to win the game.
Punjab Kings currently sits at sixth position on the points table with 4 wins in 11 matches. For them to have any chances of making the playoffs, KL Rahul and Co. need to win all their remaining three matches. As far as bowling is concerned, there’s isn’t a lot to worry about.
Arshdeep Singh, Mohammad Shami, Nathan Ellis and Ravi Bishnoi have all been doing a great job with the ball. The biggest worry for them is the middle order. Aiden Markram has been amongst the runs and that is great news for them, however, the lack of runs from Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran isn’t helping them a lot. Nicholas Pooran has been given way too many chances.
Facing them are Kolkata Knight Riders, who have made a stellar comeback in the second leg of IPL 2021. KKR have impressed one and all with their performances. In their last games played in UAE, KKR have managed to win three of them. As a result of that, they currently find themselves at fourth position with 5 wins in 11 matches. To confirm their playoff berth, they ought to win all their remaining three matches.
The inclusion of Venkatesh Iyer at the top of the order had reaped rewards to KKR. The team is battling with an aggressive mindset and things are working out pretty well for them at the moment. Unfortunately, their two players, Andre Russell and Lockie Ferguson won’t’ be available for them in the next game due to injuries. Another worry for them is the poor form of Eoin Morgan.
KKR’s top four have scored the majority of their runs and there’s no denying that they are lacking firepower at the fag end of the innings. The likes of Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik have to get back among the runs if KKR ought to reach the playoffs.
Venkatesh Iyer bowled for the first time this season in the last game against DC. He returned with the figures of 2 for 29 in 4 overs. His ability to bowl apart from opening the batting further strengthen the bowling unit of KKR.
KKR restricted Delhi Capitals to 127 runs in the last game. KKR lost wickets at regular intervals in the second innings but Nitish Rana’s 36-run unbeaten knock off 27 balls helped the side chase down the order in 18.2 overs.
They have three games remaining and would be keen to win all three to confirm their playoff berth. However, how they cope up in the absence of Ferguson and Russell will be interesting to see.
KKR vs PBKS My Dream11 Team
Wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik, KL Rahul
Batters Aiden Markram, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi
All-rounders Sunil Narine, Andre Russell
Bowlers Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Varun Chakravarthy and Ravi Bishnoi
KKR vs PBKS Probable Playing XIs
Kolkata Knight Riders: Eoin Morgan (Captain), Dinesh Karthik, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Lockie Ferguson, M Prasidh Krishna, Tim Southee, Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer.
Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Arshdeep Singh, Shahrukh Khan, Mohammed Shami, Nathan Ellis, Harpreet Brar, Aiden Markram, Ravi Bishnoi, Fabian Allen.
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