The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are not in the greatest of positions in IPL 2021. Currently, at the bottom of the points table, they will look to get a move on when they take on the Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Monday (April 26) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
PBKS, on the other hand, will look to break into the top four with a win against Kolkata. For that to happen, they will need to bring their A-game to the table as their opponents know a thing to two about pulling off sensational wins.
Ahead of the much-anticipated clash, we take a look at the player battles that could determine the outcome of the IPL 2021 clash.
#1 PBKS skipper KL Rahul vs KKR quick Pat Cummins
Cummins has been KKR's lethal weapon with both bat and ball and will be raring to go against the likes of KL Rahul, who is the second-highest run-scorer in the tournament.
Rahul has notched up three fities so far in five games and has scored 221 runs coming into this game. He boasts an average of 55.25 and a strike rate of 133.13. The PBKS captain only trails Shikhar Dhawan (259) by 38 runs in the Orange Cap race.
Cummins has four wickets in IPL 2021 so far and will be keen to add to the tally and break into the list of bowlers with the most wickets. The Aussie seamer has been expensive though and will be up against the PBKS skipper who can switch gears seamlessly.
#2 Andre Russell vs Mohammad Shami
Two death over specialists will face off in a battle that may just determine the outcome of the match. Russell has been explosive with the bat, blitzing a 22-ball-54 against the Chennai Super Kings and a 20-ball-31 against the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
While they might have lost both games, Russell revving back to form with the bat is good news for KKR. Up against the West Indies star will be Shami, who has been inching up the wickets ladder with six wickets to his name and will look to get the destructive batsman out early.
#3 Chris Gayle vs Harbhajan Singh
Safe to say, Gayle is Harbhajan's bunny. The veteran spinner has dismissed the Windies star five times in the IPL and could make his way into the playing XI and take a shot at getting Gayle out during the powerplay.
Gayle has had an average run with the bat in IPL 2021, notching up just 119 runs from his five outings for PBKS so far. However, the West Indies star will look to continue his good run against KKR, against whom he has scored 700 runs in the IPL.
Meanwhile, Harbhajan is yet to pick his first wicket in this edition for KKR, making this a keen contest.