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IPL 2019, RR vs KKR: Rajasthan Royals look to counter Russell threat

Captain Ajinkya Rahane is aware of the importance of the game against Kolkata Knight Riders who have been propelled to the top half of the table single-handedly by Andre Russell’s big-hitting.

cricket Updated: Apr 06, 2019 22:56 IST
Shalini Gupta
Shalini Gupta
Hindustan Times, Jaipur
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batsman Andre Russell celebrates with team mate Shubman Gill after hitting a six.
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batsman Andre Russell celebrates with team mate Shubman Gill after hitting a six.(PTI)
         

Rajasthan Royals haven’t had the start they would have been hoping for. They have won just one of the four games they have played and are lying seventh, just above Royal Challenger Bangalore, in the points table.

Captain Ajinkya Rahane is aware of the importance of Sunday’s game against Kolkata Knight Riders who have been propelled to the top half of the table single-handedly by Andre Russell’s big-hitting.

Rajasthan have been unlucky in a couple of matches but this time they would need all the luck to stop the Jamaican. After a thumping knock last night in Bangalore, Russell said: “So long as I am batting, nothing is impossible”.

Also Read: Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh power CSK to 22-run win over KXIP

Rahane would be aware of the threat Russell poses at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium which has small boundaries.

Rajasthan, however, say they are prepared and are deriving confidence from their win over RCB.

“Russell has been playing well for his team in this tournament. He has played a role in KKR’s success. We do have our plans for him. It was good to win against Royal Challengers Bangalore and get some points. We would look to keep the winning momentum going,” said Rajasthan Royals bowler Krishnappa Gowtham.

Ashton Turner, who made heads turn with 84 in Mohali helping Australia chase 360 in an ODI, has joined Rajasthan Royals and will provide power-hitting to the hosts. With Jos Buttler (59 runs) and Steve Smith (38 runs) finding form in the previous match, Rajasthan Royals looks like a good unit to counter Kolkata Knight Riders, who have won three out of the four games they have played so far.

Also Read: Bails foil MS Dhoni’s stunning attempt to run-out KL Rahul – Watch

Leg-spinner Shreyas Gopal’s confidence must be high after he bowled a match-winning spell, removing the likes of Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Shimron Hetmyer with his googlies in the last outing. Gopal, who mixes the slower ones well, would be a threat to Kolkata Knight Riders’ top-order comprising Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana and Dinesh Karthik.

Rajasthan Royals mentor Shane Warne, known to have a sharp cricketing brain, and coach Paddy Upton would know there is only one way forward and that is up.

First Published: Apr 06, 2019 22:56 IST

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