Kolkata, April 21: Kolkata Knight Riders will take on Kings XI Punjab at Eden Gardens on April 21. Both these teams have six points at the moment with KKR having played a game extra but with a better run-rate.
Dinesh Karthik's boys thrashed Rajasthan Royals by 7 wickets in an away game on Wednesday, April 18, while old horse Chris Gayle smashed his sixth IPL ton on Thursday, April 19, to power the Kings to a 15-run win over a strong Sunrisers Hyderabad side.
Their current forms make Saturday's game all the more interesting and both teams will look towards a win to go to the top of the table and get closer to the playoffs. Kolkata side has a big edge over KXIP. So far KKR won 14 matches while KXIP won 7.
Notwithstanding, it is a big difference. As KKR will play the match at familiar conditions they will start the match as a favourite.
Best economical pick: Mujeeb Zadran has been the dark horse for the Kings XI Punjab this season. The batsmen have failed to pick him and hence, he often contributes with quiet overs. He went wicketless against SRH but ensured that the runs did not leak from his end. He gave just 27 runs in his four overs.
Top captains & vice captains: Chris Gayle played a blinder last night. If there was someone who could take the game away from the Sunrisers, then it was Chris Gayle. And he ended up doing so. Gayle power packed an unbeaten 104 off just 63 deliveries with a four and eleven maximums.
Nitish Rana has simply been brilliant and managed to bag the Player of the Match award in last 2 games. More importantly, he showed temperament to play under pressure in the last game against RR. Not only did he contribute with the bat, but also managed to play a key role with the ball. He took the wickets of both the set Royals batsmen D Arcy Short and Ajinkya Rahane. With the bat in hand, he scored an unbeaten 35 off 27 balls to ensure that the KKR team chased down the target with ease.
Smart pick: KXIP opening batsman KL Rahul has been in great form. He and Gayle have given KXIP a solid start. So, in the forthcoming match against KKR Rahul will eye for a good inning.
Cautious Pick: Yuvraj Singh can't even manage to score at run-a-ball in this IPL so far. 36 runs in three innings at a strike-rate of less than 100 is something we usually don't associate with Yuvraj but this is how he has fared in the ongoing IPL. Adding to that, he has been a liability on the field. With R Ashwin taking some bold calls as a captain, it won't be a surprise if Yuvraj is made to sit out for Tiwary.
My XI: Chris Gayle (Captain), Nitish Rana (Vice-Captain), Mujeeb Zadran, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Sunil Narine, Andrew Tye, Andre Russell, Mayank Agarwal, Chris Lynn, Dinesh Karthik