KKR Recent Form
Not good, though the form guide is a little misleading. They have lost three on the bounce, but their performances with the bat across each fixture don’t warrant three Ls.
It’s with the ball in hand that is concerning me. Not only are they conceding too many, they’re not taking wickets regularly enough either. Indeed, they are averaging just over four wickets per match in the last four games. Umesh Yadav started the competition in blistering fashion, but the wickets have been drying up.
Given I am selecting the Kolkata Knight Riders to come out on top here, I should also give you a positive spin on their recent travails.
The likes of S. Iyer, Russell, Aaron Finch, and Nitish Rana have all registered large scores lately – all four are fast-scoring, powerful international batsmen and I think the strength of their batting unit is the reason I fancy them in the KKR vs GT betting stakes.
After three losses on the bounce, the KKR may be tempted to make some changes in personnel.
Sam Billings was out of action against the Sunrisers and the Royals – may come back into the line-up, possibly for the faltering Venkatesh Iyer, who has scores of 6, 6, and 18 in his previous three outings.
Elsewhere, Rakish Salam could come back into the line-up in place of Sheldon Jackson, who came in for some stick for his failure to see the KKR home against the Rajasthan Royals.
Player to Watch: Aaron Finch
After a disappointing IPL 22 debut for the KKR, Aaron Finch came to life against the Royals. The Australian ball-striker hammered 58 runs from just 28 balls at a strike rate of 207.14 to kickstart his season.
He hit 386 runs for a struggling Melbourne Renegades side in the Big Bash League – averaging 38.60 runs per innings, including four 50s. I like the look of him to be the top scorer for the KKR – you can back him at 4.33 with Betway.
KKR’s Likely XI
Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Sam Billings, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Rakish Salam, Pat Cummins, Umesh Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy.
Chennai Super Kings Recent Form
It has been a blockbuster start to proceedings in the tournament for the Gujarat Titans! A solitary defeat to the Sunrisers Hyderabad is the only blot on what is otherwise a pristine IPL 22 record.
The newcomers are enjoying some good fortune – their victory over the PBKS relied on two sixes in two balls, while they relied on a blockbuster innings from David Miller helped them recover from 87/5 to get over the 170 target against the defending champions Chennai Super Kings.
However, when does a team go from being lucky to simply having an elite match-winning mentality? Perhaps the GT are champions in waiting? I can see why the KKR vs GT betting odds favour the latter!
Skipper Hardik Pandya sat out the victory over the Chennai Super Kings after complaining of stiffness in the victory over the RR. He had hit 87 runs from just 52 balls – so team management were understandably reticent not to risk the all-rounder.
Rashid Khan did a magnificent job captaining in his stead, getting a major review right and generally marshalling his troops to great effect.
Matthew Wade was also left out against the CSK, after struggles with form so far this season. Overseas batter Rahmanullah Gurbaz could make his debut.
Player to Watch: Rashid Khan
We all know about Khan’s brilliance with the ball, but the Afghanistani legend can also bat a bit, as he showed with his stellar performance against the CSK.
After posting typically controlled figures (0/29 from four overs), he hit 40 runs from 21 balls to play a vital supporting role to Miller and help see his side over the line. I’m going to take a punt on a Betway pre-built special. You can back both Rashid Khan and Mohammed Shami to take a wicket for the GT at 2.10 with Betway.
GT’s Likely XI
Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Shubman Gill, Sai Sudharsan, Hardik Pandya, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Abhinav Manohar, Rashid Khan, Varun Aaron, Lockie Ferguson, Mohammed Shami.
Venue & conditions
The Dr. DY Patil Sports Academy in Navi Mumbai hosts its 12th game of tournament – so far, three teams have hit more than 200 runs, while not one franchise has managed to take all ten wickets.
The team batting first has won three of the last four matches here – KKR are yet to win a match setting the pace this season, but the DY Patil Sports Academy represents the perfect opportunity to put that right.
A day game is famously draining in India, and the conditions will be very hot and very humid.