Both RR and KKR are languishing in the bottom of the points table, having managed only one win from four games so far.
In their last game, RR were emphatically trounced by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by ten wickets, with Devdutt Padikkal and Virat Kohli going berserk. Meanwhile, KKR recovered from 31-5 against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) but fell short by 18 runs in a high-scoring thriller.
In their head-to-head record against RR, KKR hold a slender 12-10 advantage. KKR emerged victorious on both occasions the two teams locked horns with each other last season.
With RR and KKR renewing acquaintances in Mumbai tonight, let's look back at the three most memorable batting efforts in matches between the two teams over the years.
#3 Sourav Ganguly (KKR) 75 not out off 50 - IPL 2010 (in Kolkata)
Captain Sourav Ganguly starred for KKR with a stroke-filled 75 not out off 50 balls in a match against RR in Kolkata during the 2010 edition of the IPL. Set to chase 133 for victory, KKR captain Ganguly led from the front with the bat to guide his team home.
The left-hander caressed 11 fours and smashed two sixes as KKR breezed home in 16.1 overs, with eight wickets in hand. KKR lost Brendon McCullum (6) and Chris Gayle (0) cheaply, but Ganguly and Cheteshwar Pujara (45 not out off 38) guided the team home without any further hiccups.
Yusuf Pathan bore the brunt of Ganguly’s assault, as he was taken for 32 runs in three overs. Adam Voges and Faiz Fazal conceded 16 and 14 runs respectively in an over apiece.
Earlier, batting first, RR were restricted to 132 for 9, with Jaydev Unadkat claiming 3 for 26 and Ashok Dinda 2 for 24. Shane Watson (44 off 26) was the only RR batsman to stand up to KKR’s bowlers. The rest kept perishing one after the other.
#2 Gautam Gambhir (KKR) 75 not out off 44 - IPL 2011 (in Jaipur)
Another left-handed KKR captain showed the way with the bat only a year later. Leading the side in IPL 2011, Gautam Gambhir hammered 75 not out off just 44 balls in a clash against RR in Jaipur.
Set a challenging 160 to win the game, KKR lost Manvinder Bisla for 1. But Gautam Gambhir and Jacques Kallis (80 not out off 65) featured in an unbroken second-wicket stand of 152 to take the team across the finish line in 18.3 overs.
While Kallis was the top scorer in the innings for KKR, Gambhir was the aggressor. The left-hander hit 11 fours and a six in a dominant knock. Kallis, largely playing second fiddle, managed seven fours and two sixes.
Among RR bowlers, Amit Singh and Nayan Doshi suffered a lot. While Singh conceded 26 runs in 2.3 overs, Doshi was taken for 23 in his two.
Earlier, Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan picked up two wickets apiece for KKR as RR were restricted to 159 for 4. Rahul Dravid contributed 35 for RR, while Ross Taylor made an unbeaten 35 off 25.
#1 Shane Watson (RR) 104 not out off 59 - IPL 2015 (in Mumbai)
Shane Watson was one of the star performers for RR during his time with the franchise. One of his standout efforts with the bat came when he smacked an unbeaten 104 off 59 balls in Mumbai against KKR during the 2015 edition of the IPL.
With RR batting first after winning the toss, Shane Watson displayed supreme form at the top. Apart from hitting nine fours, he managed to clear the fence five times as most of the KKR bowlers suffered on the day in the wake of the Australian all-rounder's brutal onslaught.
Shane Watson featured in an opening stand of 80 with Ajinkya Rahane (37) in seven overs. After Rahane’s dismissal, Watson went solo even as wickets kept falling at the other end, almost single-handedly lifting the Rajasthan Royals to 199 for 6.
Among KKR bowlers, Azhar Mahmood was blasted for 41 in his three overs, while Morne Morkel went for 38 in his four. In response, KKR fought hard, with Yusuf Pathan hammering 44 and Andre Russell chipping in with a quickfire 37.
However, Chris Morris claimed 4 for 23 to derail KKR’s chase. Watson also chipped in with two wickets in a memorable all-round outing.