IPL 2021, RR vs KKR: 3 player battles to watch out for

Player Battles to watch out for in the RR vs KKR clash
Player Battles to watch out for in the RR vs KKR clash
Anurag Bansal

Two teams reeling at the bottom of the IPL points table, the Rajasthan Royals (RR) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will face off at Mumbai in Match 18 of IPL 2021 on Saturday.

Both teams will look to get their campaign back on track after suffering 3 defeats in 4 games so far. The Rajasthan Royals currently stand at the bottom of the points table with a poor Net Run Rate, while KKR are in 6th place with 2 points, but a slightly better run rate.

KKR showed what their middle-order is capable of with the bat in their previous outing against CSK. It will be intriguing to see how the Rajasthan Royals approach the KKR batsmen at a high-scoring ground like the Wankhede.

Having said that, we look at 3 key player battles that could play a huge deciding factor in the outcome of the game.

#1 RR's Chetan Sakariya vs KKR's Shubman Gill

KKR's Shubman Gill and RR's Chetan Sakariya
KKR's Shubman Gill and RR's Chetan Sakariya

The two youngsters have been major revelations for their respective franchises in the recent past. While Shubman Gill has performed brilliantly with the bat for Team India since the start of 2021, he has had a relatively quiet IPL 2021 season this year.

Chetan Sakariya, on the other hand, has had a dream start to the campaign with the Rajasthan Royals. The youngster was drafted into the squad in RR's first game and has delivered consistently for the team since then.

With Shubman Gill opening the innings for KKR and Chetan Sakariya bowling during the powerplay, it will be interesting to see which player comes out on top.

Both Gill and Sakariya will walk into the contest after disappointing showings in their previous game. While Gill lost his wicket early against the Chennai Super Kings, Sakariya had an off day with the ball in his last outing courtesy of some fine hitting by the RCB openers.

#2 RR's Chris Morris vs KKR all-rounder Andre Russell

RR's Chris Morris and KKR's Andre Russell
RR's Chris Morris and KKR's Andre Russell

Arguably the most interesting clash in this game will be that of Andre Russell and Chris Morris. The two all-rounders are middle-order batsmen who are known for their batting exploits as well as their wicket-taking ability.

With Andre Russell finally showing what he is capable of with the bat during KKR's previous outing against Chennai, the onus will be on Chris Morris to stop Russell from going berserk at the Wankhede Stadium.

Meanwhile, the West Indies star will look to get the better of Chris Morris while bowling in at the death and will aim to restrict RR to a low total.

Click here for the latest IPL 2021 live score!

#3 RR's Sanju Samson vs KKR's Pat Cummins

KKR's Pat Cummins and RR's Sanju Samson
KKR's Pat Cummins and RR's Sanju Samson

Despite being plagued by inconsistency, Sanju Samson is still someone who can intimidate any opponent. After scoring a blistering hundred in RR's first game of the season, Samson has had a quiet time with the bat. Given that Wankhede is a high-scoring ground, the RR captain will be hungry to get going against the Knight Riders.

KKR, on the other hand, have the perfect bowler to stop Sanju Samson from wreaking havoc. Pat Cummins, who bowls at the top, could play a crucial role in picking up the wicket of Samson early. But if the RR skipper gets going, Pat Cummins could suffer as Sanju Samson is a great player of pace.

After a sensational display of power-hitting with the bat against CSK, Pat Cummins will be eager to showcase his potency with the ball as well.

Edited by Parimal
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