KKR vs PBKS Prediction: Who will win today's IPL 2022 match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings?

Shreyas Iyer has had a hot-and-cold start to life as Kolkata Knight Riders captain
Shreyas Iyer has had a hot-and-cold start to life as Kolkata Knight Riders captain
Sai Krishna

After losing narrowly to the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) skipper Shreyas Iyer was appreciative of the way his team fought despite a nightmare batting performance that saw several players get out to nothing shots. Having won the opening game of the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) season, KKR failed to carry their momentum forward but gave a clear indication of the blueprint they intend to follow this year under Shreyas and Brendon McCullum.

The two-time champions will have another opportunity to showcase their intent on Friday, April 1 when they face the buoyant Punjab Kings (PBKS), who kickstarted a new era of their own with a win against RCB. Backed by a destructive batting lineup, Mayank Agarwal and Co. pulled off a tall chase to establish themselves as early playoff contenders this year. They will even be boosted by the availability of star South African pacer Kagiso Rabada, who has served his quarantine period and will walk into the playing XI.

KKR will sweat over the fitness of Andre Russell, who had an awkward fall on the boundary and suffered a shoulder injury that prevented him from playing at full tilt towards the end of the previous game. If Russell doesn't make the cut against PBKS, Shreyas might be left with a highly underwhelming batting lineup.

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IPL 2022 Match Prediction: KKR vs PBKS

Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan will be wary of the threat Umesh Yadav poses
Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan will be wary of the threat Umesh Yadav poses

The biggest subplot of the KKR versus PBKS clash lies in the powerplay overs, where Umesh Yadav has been impeccable for the Knight Riders. With Tim Southee giving the Indian spearhead company, the PBKS opening pair of Mayank Agarwal and Shikhar Dhawan will have a serious task on their hands.

The Wankhede Stadium hasn't produced great batting wickets, which might play into PBKS' hands. The one-time finalists have a stacked batting lineup that not only boasts depth but also variety, which isn't something that can be said about their opposition. If the Wankhede wicket turns out to be sticky and two-paced once again, the KKR top order of Venkatesh Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane and Shreyas could struggle to find their timing.

KKR's biggest strength lies in their spin department, but Varun Chakravarthy couldn't cope with the dew in the previous game. If he and Sunil Narine have to bowl in the second innings, their effectiveness might be greatly curtailed. If Russell isn't available, KKR will have to search long and hard for pacers who can bowl at the death.

Overall, PBKS appear to be the more settled unit and are the definite favorites for the contest. The toss will play a massive role, and the chasing IPL team will have such an advantage that they could almost essentially be labeled the winners. But taking the coin flip out of the equation, it's safe to say that Mayank might be the happier of the two captains at the end of Match 8.

Prediction: PBKS to win Match 8 of IPL 2022

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Edited by Sai Krishna


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