IPL 2018, KKR v RR: 5 players battles to look forward to in the Eliminator
The Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals will fight it out tonight in this year’s Eliminator at the Eden Gardens tonight. As everyone knows, it is a high stakes game in which the losing team gets eliminated from the tournament and there is no doubt that it is going to be a closely fought game. That being said, KKR will start as favorites due to their record of having beaten tonight’s opponents home and away and also because they will be playing at their home ground.
In addition to that, RR’s premier opening batsman Jos Buttler went back to England last week and that has severely dented the side’s batting firepower. Despite that, RR completed a fantastic win against Royal Challengers Bangalore to get this far and they have players in the side, who can make the difference on the big occasion. The game will ultimately come down to some of the individual battles that will take place tonight and here is a look at 5 of the most important ones.
#5 Sunil Narine v Rahul Tripathi
He might have been misused for the majority of the tournament but the return to the top of the order has helped Rahul Tripathi become a dangerous player again and tonight, he will be a key player for RR. In his previous game, he made a superb unbeaten 80 against RCB to help his team get a fighting score and he would want to repeat the performance against KKR tonight. Considering his prowess as a belligerent hitter, KKR would like to remove him early and the man for the job could well be their star spinner, Sunil Narine.
The Trinidadian has been one of the IPL’s best performers for 6 seasons now and in a crunch game like an Eliminator, he is the sort of bowler who can deliver a hammer blow early on to the opposition. Having taken 16 wickets already at an economy rate of 7.62, he is exactly the sort of bowler who would be a big challenge for Tripathi and it is going to be a crucial battle in the larger context of the game.