Kolkata Knight Riders attained a slot in the top half of the IPL points table earlier by winning 4 out of 5 matches but lost all the 5 matches they played later. They are in the sixth position in the points table and need to win all the four matches they play to make the way for playoffs. The spinners lost their spark and Kolkata lost three home games out of five games in a row.
Kolkata Knight Riders franchise has given their crucial players a day off to visit Mumbai academy after their loss against Hyderabad and fans expect the likes of Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Karthik to bounce back and perform well.
On the other hand, Rajasthan Royals have just 3 wins from 10 games and even if they win all the remaining games, making way for playoffs is difficult. They want to win as many games as possible to make a graceful exit. Except for Shreyas Gopal and Jofra Archer, the rest of the bowlers did not makeup to their huge cheques. Jos Buttler is the only consistent batsman for the side and Steven Smith is trying hard to put things in place as a skipper and a middle order batsman.
Andre Russell is the only consistent performer for Kolkata throughout the series with 392 runs with a strike rate of 217. He will be rested for the second half of the tournament since he is a part of the West Indies squad. Hence, the team needs to look for an alternative for this Jamaican for the rest of the series.
Ajinkya Rahane and Steven Smith are in good form and since he is freed from the captaincy, Rahane made his mark with a hundred against Delhi Capitals and wants to keep on his momentum.
Rajasthan Royals won just once at Eden Gardens in May 2008. The win-loss record is also very poor for both of the teams when they batted first in this season. The KKR has 1-5 win-loss record when they batted first and RR has 0-4.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Dinesh Karthik(captain), Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, Nitish Rana, Robin Uthappa, Shubhmann Gill, Harry Gurney, Prasidh Krishna, Kuldeep Yadav, and Piyush Chawla.
Steven Smith(captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, Ashton Turner/Ben Stokes, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Stuart Binny, Rian Parag, Jayadev Unadkat, and Dhawal Kulkarni