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Kolkata Knight Riders have maintained superiority against Punjab Kings in this competition as they have won 19 of the 29 meetings between these two teams, with Punjab winning the other ten games. However, given that they have had a fantastic start to their campaign and the addition of Kagiso Rabada will bolster their ranks, we have predicted Punjab Kings to win this match.
Punjab Kings to win (-111)
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Kolkata Knight Riders: Venkatesh Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer (c), Sam Billings (wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shivam Mavi, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy.
Punjab Kings: Mayank Agarwal (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (wk), Shahrukh Khan, Odean Smith, Raj Bawa, Kagiso Rabada, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar.
Under the new leadership of Shreyas Iyer, Kolkata Knight Riders have had a pretty mixed start to their Indian Premier League 2022 campaign. They had a good first game against Chennai Super Kings, where the boys in purple and gold registered a six-wicket triumph.
However, things did not go as planned in the last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, where Iyer’s team suffered a three-wicket defeat. The two-time champions batted first and could only score 128 runs, and while the bowlers did incredibly well to take the game to the very last over, Faf du Plessis’ RCB eventually chased the total down with four deliveries to spare.
The Knights will be desperate to get their campaign back on track, but it will be easier said than done against a high-flying Punjab Kings team. Mayank Agarwal’s side started their IPL 2022 campaign with a five-wicket win against Royal Challengers Bangalore, where new acquisitions in Bhanuka Rajapaksa and Odean Smith proved their mettle.
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KKR’s strategy of fielding a batting-heavy team with fewer bowling alternatives has a high risk of backfiring, and it did so in the game against RCB. Hence, head coach Brendon McCullum and his think tank could opt for a more bowling-inclined lineup for this game. Sheldon Jackson, who might have been impressed with his glovework, has not done anything notable with the bat yet in this competition. He could be replaced by pacer Shivam Mavi, who also has the ability of scoring runs down the order.
Though we do not usually see teams doing changes to their playing XI, Punjab Kings are very likely to be an exception as their already-intimidating roster will be bolstered by the addition of South African speedster Kagiso Rabada, who has completed his mandatory three-day quarantine period. Having conceded over nine runs per over in the game against RCB without picking any wickets, Sandeep Sharma might have to make way for Rabada.
Umesh Yadav: Not many would have expected Umesh Yadav to even be a part of the KKR playing XI ahead of the season, but he now has emerged as the key to the team’s success. The veteran pacer has had two back-to-back exemplary outings now, where his controlled line and lengths have helped him not only scalp important wickets but also maintain an impressive economy rate. Yadav picked up two wickets by conceding only 20 runs against Chennai Super Kings, while he was on the money against Bangalore as well, where leaked only 16 runs and picked up the crucial wickets of Virat Kohli and Anuj Rawat.
Odean Smith: A few eyebrows were raised when Punjab Kings opted to spend INR 6 crores on Odean Smith, a player who has no prior experience of playing in this competition. However, the West Indian all-rounder proved why it was the right call from the Kings’ management with his spectacular performance in only his debut game. Though he was expensive with the ball against Bangalore, Smith’s brute force with the bat helped PBKS chase down a humongous target of 206 quite comfortably. He scored an unbeaten 25 off 8 deliveries, which included one four and three sixes.
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|Kolkata Knight Riders vs Punjab Kings, Match 8 – Information|
|Teams||Kolkata Knight Riders vs Punjab Kings|
|Time||Friday, 1st April, 7:30 PM IST/2 PM GMT|
|How to watch||Star Sports Network & Disney+ Hotstar (India), Willow TV (USA), Sky Sports (UK), SuperSport (South Africa), Carlton Sports Network (Sri Lanka), Geo Super (Pakistan), Sky NZ (New Zealand), SportsMax (Caribbean), Bong BD (Bangladesh), Lemar TV (Afghanistan), Sony MAX (Nepal)|
Rohit is a cricket enthusiast striving to convey the finer details of the game in a capsule. He hopes to present a bird's eye view of the game, as he sees it, to the readers. He is smitten by the likes of ABD but crushes on pace bowlers who can make the ball talk. Email: [email protected]More info on Rohit Sankar
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