The race to the playoffs is heating up; Kolkata and Punjab would love to consolidate their positions in the top half of the table. Mumbai would want to go on their famous streaks to get into the playoffs and Rajasthan would like to take advantage of their game in hand.
#1 Wicketkeeper - Karthik and Rahul are in excellent form
Dinesh Karthik despite batting lower down the order is their leading run scorer striking at 149. Even though it is always a risk to pick someone batting lower down the order, the KKR set up and the form that Karthik is in, he is the best pick for the first game.
KL Rahul has been a revelation this season opening the innings. He has been overshadowed by Gayle but he consistently is giving great starts to KXIP, striking at 169 and would be looking to bat longer.
Buttler opened in the previous game for Rajasthan and the experiment was a success. He comes cheap and could be the wildcard pick for you.
Ishan Kishan has tailed off after the start and has not been amongst the runs and is striking slowly.
#2 Overseas - Gayle by a far mile, Archer strike bowler
Chris Gayle has hit 25 sixes in 5 innings, has an average of over 100 and is the leading run scorer for Punjab.
Lewis has been underperforming, Cutting bats too low down the order; Stokes and Short have been disappointing.
Jofra Archer is being used as a strike bowler by Rahane and he has paid back the confidence shown in him. He has carried forward his form from the Big Bash, expect him to keep troubling the batsmen with his pace and bowl excellent at the death.
#3 Indian stars - Bumrah, Hardik have come to the party
Hardik Pandya has 12 wickets to his name and has been performing with the bat in the past few games. He has picked up wickets every 12 balls bowled. Mumbai have been using him as more of a pinch hitter in the middle of the innings than finishing it and it has started to show dividends,
Bumrah has improved as the season has progressed with 10 wickets to show at an economy of 6.75.
Sanju Samson has been Rajasthan's best batsman with a strike rate of 145 and an average of 40 and is a must-have in your team.
Uthappa has failed to convert starts, Yuvraj is a mere shadow of himself, Ashwin has picked only 5 wickets yet and Rohit has been very inconsistent despite his 94 and is also hesitant to bat up the order further decreasing the chance of earning points for your team.
#4 The best budget picks - Gowtham, Surya, Gill
Krishnappa Gowtham has been bowling in the powerplay and has been playing the finisher's role for Rajasthan. Shubman Gill was promoted up the order in regard to Rana's injury and responded with a well-crafted half-century.
Suryakumar Yadav has been the architect of Mumbai's batting and leads the team with 340 runs at an average of 38, a clear lead of 120 runs over second-placed Rohit Sharma.
#5 Bowlers - McClenaghan and Tye should be your picks
Mitchell McClenaghan has not been too expensive leaking at 8.52 runs per over but has picked up 10 wickets in 7 innings and is Mumbai's go to strike bowler.
Andrew Tye has been Ashwin's strike bowler having picked up 10 wickets. Mujeeb is another good choice with 9 wickets in his kitty.
Unadkat and Kulkarni have been disappointing this season. Chawla and Kuldeep have been ok at best for KKR having picked up 8 wickets apiece.
Rajpoot has demonstrated good control but after his opening burst of 5 wickets he has not picked up too many. Markande has a good strike rate but has not been amongst the wickets in the past few games too.
#6 The KKR conundrum - Russell or Narine or both
Andre Russell has not gotten too many overs or chances to bat. Sunil Narine has been good with the ball picking up 10 wickets and has been striking at 169 opening the batting. If you have to make a choice pick Narine.
Chris Lynn has been playing more of an anchor role than being the explosive batsman for which he is famous and has been racking up runs.
#7 Consistent performer to pick - Krunal and Rahane
Krunal Pandya has been an excellent utility player for Mumbai performing both with the bat and the ball.
Ajinkya Rahane is the second leading scorer for Rajasthan and has been amongst the runs shepherding the Royals side.
#8 Wildcard picks - the X-factors for your each team
Jos Buttler excelled in his promotion to the top, Rajasthan will be comforted with that result and could use him as a floater depending on the situation.
Hardik Pandya is also being used as a floater for Mumbai and with his bowling is an extremely valuable pick.
Chris Gayle has been patient this season and still is striking over 150. He has consciously looked to play longer innings' and that has translated to an average of 100.
Shubman Gill will definitely bat higher than Karthik after his previous innings and with the ball coming on to the bat and the quick outfield at Wankhede, he should flourish.
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