Dubai, Oct 31 (IANS/GloFans) Consecutive wins in their last two matches have given Rajasthan Royals (RR) hope for qualifying for the playoffs of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the Steve Smith-led team will aim to capitalise from the situation when they face a deflated Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) here on Sunday.
Both RR (bet run rate -0.377) and KKR (-0.467) have equal 12 points each from 13 games. However, it is RR’s superior net run-rate that gives them an edge. RR will be looking for a big win to stay ahead in middle of the jam-packed table with every team, except Chennai Super Kings (CSK), still afloat.
Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson rediscovering their form has been the catalyst for RR in their recent matches while skipper Smith, Robin Uthappa, and Jos Buttler were also handy with the bat in their game against Kings XI Punjab.
Fast bowler Jofra Archer has put in some of his best performances ever this season while Stokes was also among the wickets against KXIP. However, Varun Aaron, Kartik Tyagi and Shreyas Gopal leaked runs.
For KKR, spinner Varun Chakravarthy has been the talk of the town with his performances earning him a call-up to the Indian team.
The team’s massive defeats against KXIP and CSK have derailed their campaign. Nitish Rana has managed 80-plus totals in two of the last three matches but the rest of the batting lineup has been plagued by inconsistency.
Narine, meanwhile, will have an additional responsibility with the ball.
Lockie Ferguson had a bright start in the season but looked out of sorts in the last game while Pat Cummins has finally got himself back among the wickets.
Rajasthan Royals: Steven Smith (captain), Jos Buttler (wicket-keeper), Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson, Andrew Tye, Kartik Tyagi, Ankit Rajpoot, Shreyas Gopal, Rahul Tewatia, Jaydev Unadkat, Mayank Markande, Mahipal Lomror, Oshane Thomas, Riyan Parag, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Anuj Rawat, Akash Singh, David Miller, Manan Vohra, Shashank Singh, Varun Aaron, Tom Curran, Robin Uthappa, Aniruddha Joshi, Jofra Archer
Kolkata Knight Riders: Eoin Morgan (captain), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Rinku Singh, Shubman Gill, Siddhesh Lad, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrior, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Andre Russell, Chris Green, M Siddharth, Sunil Narine, Nikhil Naik, Tom Banton, Tim Seifert