Match 24 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 sees bottom-placed Kings XI Punjab taking on former IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Kolkata Knight Riders come into this fixture on the back of a stunning comeback win against CSK earlier in the week. Despite their big guns Eoin Morgan, Shubman Gill and Andre Russell not able to get going with the bat, they had an unlikely hero in Rahul Tripathi, who smashed a match-winning fifty at this very venue.
With six points in five games, KKR are firmly in the hunt for a top-four finish although their team hasn't completely fired as a unit, which might be a cause for concern for KKR coach Brendon McCullum.
However, he would be elated by how his bowlers came back against CSK with Varun Chakravarthy's form keeping Kuldeep Yadav out of the playing 11. With momentum in their favour, KKR are the favourites heading into this game.
Another reason for KKR being favourites is KXIP's woeful run of form in IPL 2020. Despite starting the tournament brightly, they have won just once in six IPL games so far and are in a race against time to sustain their hunt for a playoff spot.
Although the likes of KL Rahul and Nicholas Pooran have done the damage with the bat, their bowlers have often lacked conviction, with lacklustre performances marring their IPL campaign. They have more to lose from this game than KKR, which adds to the pressure for KXIP. However, considering the personnel in their roster, one wouldn't want to count them out just yet.
The head-to-head record narrows the odds for KXIP further with KKR winning 17 games to KXIP's eight. Both IPL 2019 fixtures between the two sides saw KKR come up trumps, which adds another layer of intrigue to what should be a fascinating contest between the two sides.
With two valuable points up for grabs, KXIP will hope to put their best foot forward against Russell and co at Abu Dhabi.
Squads to choose from
Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul (C), Karun Nair, Mohammed Shami, Nicholas Pooran, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Hardus Viljoen, Darshan Nalkande, Sarfaraz Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Murugan Ashwin, K Gowtham, J Suchith, Glenn Maxwell, Sheldon Cottrell, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Porel, Ravi Bishnoi, James Neesham, Chris Jordan, Tajinder Dhillon, Prabhsimran Singh, Agnivesh Ayachi, Harpreet Brar, Murugan Ashwin
Kolkata Knight Riders
Dinesh Karthik (C), Shivam Mavi, Tom Banton, Sandeep Warrier, Kuldeep Yadav, Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine, Nikhil Naik, Manimaran Siddharth, Andre Russell, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna, Shubman Gill, Nitesh Rana, Siddhesh Lad, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Rinku Singh, Varun Chakravarthy, Chris Green and Rahul Tripathi
Predicted Playing 11
Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul (C), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran (WK), Mandeep Singh, James Neesham/Glenn Maxwell, Krishnappa Gowtham, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh and Sheldon Cottrell
Kolkata Knight Riders
Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (C&WK), Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Varun Chakravarthy.
Match: Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Match 24
Date: 10th October 2020, at 3:30 PM IST
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
The pitch at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium should play host to an even contest between bat and ball. Although the batsmen have enjoyed success over the last few games, the pacers have been crucial to the outcome of the game with enough help on offer.
In addition to the extra bounce, the pacers have enjoyed swing with the new ball, which has kept the batsmen on their toes. Similarly, the spinners should also get the ball to skid off the surface with a hint of turn on offer.
Although teams preferred to chase early on in the tournament, IPL fans are getting used to captains choosing to bat first, which should ideally be the case in this afternoon fixture.
With the temperature in the afternoon also on the higher side, batting first would be the ideal option with 160-170 being a competitive total at this venue.
KXIP vs KKR IPL Dream11 Fantasy Suggestions
Fantasy Suggestion #1: KL Rahul, Nicholas Pooran, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Mohammed Shami, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy and Arshdeep Singh
Captain: KL Rahul, Vice-Captain: Andre Russell
Fantasy Suggestion #2: KL Rahul, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Mohammed Shami, Pat Cummins, Varun Chakravarthy and Ravi Bishnoi
Captain: KL Rahul, Vice-Captain: Shubman GillPublished 09 Oct 2020, 13:51 IST