The 39th match of Tata IPL 2023 will be played between Kolkata Knight Riders and Gujarat Titans, at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
While Gujarat sit comfortably at the second position with 10 points having played one less match than the toppers Rajasthan Royals who are also at 10 points, Kolkata are at the seventh position having won only 3 of their 8 matches so far.
CURRENT FORM :
Gujarat Titans – W W L
Kolkata Knight Riders – L L W
The defending champions GT have been very consistent this season as well, having lost only two matches so far and even those two went to the final over. They have won their previous two matches with excellent bowling performances, pace and spin alike. While KKR had lost four on the trot after their second win, they found some solace in their performance against RCB.
In the 2022 season, Gujarat defended a modest 156 against KKR with a disciplined bowling performance on a slow track, sneaking home by 8 runs. However, when the two teams met earlier this season, KKR scripted a miraculous victory on the back of Rinku Singh’s outrageous assault in the final over by hitting five sixes. It’ll be interesting to see how the two teams fare this time around.
WHAT TO EXPECT :
The pitch usually has consistent carry for pacers, with a tinge of green. It is ideal for batting with true bounce, though it sometimes grips for the spinners as the match goes on. But being a day game, there could be assistance very early on for the slower bowlers. The square boundary is shorter on one side at 56 metres, while the straight boundary is around 70 metres.
In the three games played here this season, all have been won by the side batting first although scores have always been on the higher side. But this is a day game, so chasing would be a better option with the ball coming on nicely under the lights. The temperatures are expected to be above 30 degrees Celsius during the day.
TEAM NEWS :
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Shardul Thakur is expected to be back into the XI having missed a few games due to a niggle. KKR might bring him in place of Umesh, who has a solitary wicket so far and has been very expensive.
Shardul might bowl in the powerplay as he has dismissed GT opener Shubman Gill twice. Sunil Narine has snapped Wriddhiman Saha four times, so he could be looked at early on. Suyash Sharma is again expected to be the impact player.
Probable XI : Jason Roy, N Jagadeesan [wk], Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana [c], Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, David Wiese, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav / Vaibhav Arora, Varun Chakaravarthy.
Barring any forced changes, GT are expected to stick to the same XI.
Rashid Khan has a brilliant record against Andre Russell, who has gotten out to the leggie thrice while managing to score only 10 runs off 14 balls faced. Skipper Hardik could again walk in at number three to provide stability in the middle overs against KKR’s spin troika. Joshua Little will probably be used as the impact substitute, depending on the toss.
Probable XI : Wriddhiman Saha [wk], Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya [c], Vijay Shankar, Abhinav Manohar, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Mohammed Shami, Noor Ahmad, Mohit Sharma.
FANTASY HANDBOOK :
- Hardik Pandya : Hardik has been consolidating the batting in the middle-overs at an average of 21.33, negating the spinners and setting the platform for the finishers to launch their offensive at the death. He has also contributed with the ball at an economy below 7, using the new ball’s swing and seam in the powerplay to dry up the runs.
- Rashid Khan : Rashid is the joint-highest wicket taker this season in just 7 games, taking 14 wickets at an impressive average of 16.14. His explosive power-hitting down the order, coupled with his athletic fielding, makes him a complete package.
- Rinku Singh : The finisher from KKR has been in a purple patch of his own, hitting 18 sixes in 8 matches, with 13 of them coming in the death-overs. He has also been particularly difficult to dismiss in this phase of the game.
- Venkatesh Iyer : The KKR batter has 285 runs from 8 games, and a healthy strike-rate of 154.05, also playing positively against spinners.
- Suyash Sharma : The young leg-spinner has had a great first season so far, picking up 9 wickets in 6 games, those wickets being of key batters.
- Shubman Gill : The GT opener has been consistent this season, having scored 284 runs in 7 games, at a strike rate of 142.71.
IDEAL FOR C / VC
- Hardik Pandya : Pandya boasts of an excellent record against KKR, having scored 366 runs striking at 173.46, while also picking up 11 wickets at an economy of 6.91 with the ball.
- Rashid Khan : The Afghan leg-spinner has 17 wickets against KKR in 14 games. He took a hat-trick against them earlier this season.
IDEAL DREAM TEAM : Participants must include batters who have a proficient record against spin-bowling. Spinners are expected to perform better, and pacers with variations would be handy on this pitch, taking into account that this is a day-game. It would be wise to include both Jagadeesan and Saha, considering that they are both keepers, open the batting in powerplay and have enough domestic experience of playing against spinners.
The ideal combination would be –
keepers : batters : all-rounders : bowlers = 2 : 3 : 3 : 3