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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

KKR Predicted XI against KXIP: Kolkata Knight Riders to make a change in bowling department

KXIP vs KKR: Keeping in mind that the track in Mohali has helped the Ashwin duo of KXIP, KKR might be tempted to give Kuldeep Yadav his spot back in the playing XI.

cricket Updated: May 03, 2019 12:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Kolkata Knight Riders team walk round the stadium as to greet the people after they won the match against Mumbai Indians at the VIVO IPL cricket T20 match in Kolkata, India, Monday, April 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)
Kolkata Knight Riders team walk round the stadium as to greet the people after they won the match against Mumbai Indians at the VIVO IPL cricket T20 match in Kolkata, India, Monday, April 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)(AP)
         

Kolkata Knight Riders face Kings XI Punjab in a must-win encounter at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Friday. Mumbai Indians’ thrilling Super Over victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday may have given both the sides some breathing space but they would want to win Friday’s match desperately to increase their chances of making the playoffs.

Both KKR and Kings XI have 10 points from 12 matches but the Kolkata outfit is placed a rung above Punjab at sixth in the eight-team competition by virtue of a better net run-rate.

Both KKR and Kings XI had a decent outing in the first half of the tournament before losing the plot in the all-important second phase.

After registering four wins and one loss in the first five games, KKR suffered six defeats in a row that derailed their campaign.

Although KKR return to winning ways against Mumbai Indians in their last game, the Dinesh Karthik-led side need to register victories in their final two games to have an outside chance of qualifying for the Play-offs.

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The KKR top-order -- Shubman Gill (75), Chris Lynn (54) and Andre Russell (80 not out) fired in unison in their last match against Mumbai Indians to lift the side to a mammoth 232 for two, a total which the bowling unit defended to register a much-needed 34-run win.

Russell has been in ominous form for KKR this season and is the third highest scorer so far with 486 runs from 12 games at a staggering strike rate of 207.69.

But if batting is their strength, KKR’s weak link is the bowling department. Veteran campaigners like Sunil Narine (2/4) and Piyush Chawla (1/57) leaked runs against MI in their last match and if not for the cushion of 230 plus score, KKR could have lost the match.

Russell though was brilliant with the ball too, registering figures of impressive figures of 2 for 25.

Keeping in mind that the track in Mohali has helped the Ashwin duo of KXIP, KKR might be tempted to give Kuldeep Yadav his spot back in the playing XI. KKR faced a lot of criticism for dropping Kuldeep in the last two matches against Rajasthan Royals and Mumbai Indians before the upcoming World Cup.

But KKR head coach Jaques Kallis stated it won’t have any bearing on Kuldeep’s World Cup performance.

“I don’t think it will affect him, it’s just a different format and unfortunately looking at the makeup of the side, he has not played the last couple of games. He has been working quite hard in the nets and seems to be getting it right again, so I am sure he will be okay for the World Cup,” Kallis said ahead of the KKR vs KXIP match.

KKR Predicted XI vs KXIP: 1 Chris Lynn, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Andre Russell, 4 Robin Uthappa, 5 Dinesh Karthik (capt, wk), 6 Nitish Rana, 7 Sunil Narine, 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Harry Gurney, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Prasidh Krishna

(With inputs from agency)