Jaipur, April 17: The in-form Rajasthan Royals will be confident of a third consecutive victory when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL 2018) here on Wednesday (April 18). Despite Andre Russell and Nitish Rana in top form for KKR, Rajasthan can fancy their chances at home, where they have a good record.
Royals have recorded back-to-back wins after Sunrisers Hyderabad thrashed them in their opener. They pipped Delhi Daredevils by 10 runs in a rain-hit encounter and then travelled away to post a convincing 19-run victory over star-studded Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The undisputed star of the game was Sanju Samon, who hit a blistering a 45-ball 92 and Royals would expect him to fire again.
They were able to iron out few of their flaws. Royals' batting clicked with Samson leading the charge and skipper Ajinkya Rahane too making a useful contribution. Their bowling too could sustain the pressure of onslaught by big hitters like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.
They are on their home turf, where they have seldom lost matches, but they would still be wary of KKR, who outplayed Delhi Daredevils rather comfortably on Monday for their second win in four games. KKR lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings, but were comfortably ahead of the RCB at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
With Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine at the top and big hitters like Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana and Andre Russell in the middle, KKR have enough fire power and depth.
Their bowling too has the right balance with the deceptive Narine, the current purple cap holder in the tournament. Wily old horse Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav are capable of weaving a web around any batting side.
Pacer Shivam Mavi, who rose to stardom during the recent U-19 World Cup, and Russell provide the medium pace variety to KKR.
Fighting his way back to the top! 💪#Knight @ShivamMavi23 shares his incredible comeback story after suffering an injury during a training camp. 🙌— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) April 17, 2018
Watch the 📹 to find out more from his father & coach on his journey. #KKRHaiTaiyaar #KorboLorboJeetbo pic.twitter.com/B1gKdW2AzP
However, the tight schedule of the tournament has left KKR so drained that they have preferred to rest on Tuesday (April 17) instead of holding a practice session.
The pink city, after a two and half hour rain interruption in the previous match, is under a dry and hot spell. The wicket here is a sporting one but a little bit of dryness would help the KKR spin department.
Rajasthan Royals: Heinrich Klassen, Benjamin Stokes, Jaydev Unadkat, Sanju Samson, Jofra Archer, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jos Buttler, Ajinkya Rahane, Darcy Short, Rahul Tripathi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Zahir Khan Pakteen, Ben Laughlin, Stuart Binny, Dushmantha Chameera, Anureet Singh, Aryaman Vikram Birla, Midhun S, Shreyas Gopal, Prashant Chopra, Jatin Saxena, Ankit Sharma, Mahipal Lomror.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (c and WK), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, R Vinay Kumar, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searless, Apoorv Wankhade, Ishank Jaggi and Tom Curran.
Match starts at 8 pm (Wednesday, April 18)
Live on Star Sports Network
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