After a stunning start to the season, KKR have fizzled out in recent weeks and lost their last five games. With only four wins in 10 outings, every game is a must-win one for Kolkata Knight Riders. Eden Gardens welcomes a struggling Rajasthan Royals, who need a miracle to qualify for the playoffs.
Royals have won only three games this season as their bowling and batting failed to fire in unison. They need to win all their remaining games and hope a lot of other results go in their favour. Kolkata has produced some high scoring games and this one is going to be no exception.
If KKR bats first
Despite having one of the best batting line ups in IPL this season, KKR batsmen have collectively failed quite a few times. Andre Russell single-handedly won games for KKR but even for a player of his calibre, it is a lot of burden to shoulder.
Players like Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, and Dinesh Karthik need to get consistent with the bat. A score of around 180 to 190 is on the cards if KKR bat first.
If RR bats first
Though Royals have to cope with the departure of Jos Buttler, their middle order still looks a lot fragile. With Ben Stokes struggling for runs, RR needs their top three to score the majority of the runs. Ajinkya Rahane looked in great touch last game and Smith too showed some good form in the past couple of games.
Samson showed flashes of his brilliance this season but far too inconsistent. Expect Royals to post a score of around 170 if they bat first.
Who will win?
This is a must-win game for both sides. Playing at home and Russell in their ranks gives KKR the advantage. Expect the home team to prevail in this all-important fixture.
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