IPL 2021: Rajasthan Royals and KKR look to kickstart their season

After a series of disappointing losses in IPL 2021, both Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders will be looking forward to getting out of this rut and secure a win when they face each other at Wankhede Stadium on Saturday. Both teams have only won one match out of the four that they have played. It is crucial that they start winning games and win by a higher run rate if they wish to qualify for the playoffs, which seems a far away dream right now.

The batsmen friendly pitch of Wankhede will be helpful to both teams if they can make use of it, both teams have played against each other 23 times, out of which KKR has won 12, while one went without result, so it is a close call to make based on head to head record.

RR really needs to pick themselves up after last night’s bitter defeat against RCB. Royals’ batting lineup has been inconsistent with their game as their key batsmen in the top order give away easy wickets. Opener Manan Vohra hasn’t been able to deliver. It will not be a surprise if he gets dropped for this game. Unless one of Jos Buttler,  Sanju Samson, and David Miller comes up with big innings, the team is likely to struggle in all games at present.

Along with these top-order batsmen, the likes of Riyan Parag and Rahul Tewatia also need to find consistency in the batting lineup. All-rounders Shivam Dube and Chris Morris have blown hot and cold this season. Rajasthan has been unlucky with injuries this season, but they need big players to step up to make IPL 2021 a good season.

Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders have been equally disappointing in IPL 2021. Although KKR has some quality players in the team, they are not clicking at the right time. The bowling department has struggled to contain runs while the batting unit is failing collectively. The form of Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, and Pat Cummins with the bat is the only positive aspect for the team until now. Eoin Morgan needs to step up as a batsman and captain to help KKR move up in the points table.

Predicted Playing XI

Rajasthan Royals: Sanju Samson (C & WK), Jos Buttler, Manan Vohra, David Miller, Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Riyan Parag, Chetan Sakariya, Jaydev Udankat, Mustafizur Rahman.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Eoin Morgan(C), Nitish Rana, Shubhman Gill, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Rahul Tripathi, Andre Russell, Shakib AL Hasan, Harbhajan Singh, Pat Cummins, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy.

Key Battles to Watch Out

Sanju Samson vs Pat Cummins: Both Samson and Cummins are due a good game. Samson is getting starts, but apart from the first game he has failed to score big. Meanwhile, Cummins has shone with the bat but struggled with the ball. The Australian pacer will be eager to dismiss Samson early to set the tone of the game.

Chetan Sakariya vs Andre Russell: With Andre Russell being back in form after two good innings, he will be the main man for KKR with the bat. Meanwhile, Sakariya has been knocking out some of the best batsmen in IPL 2021, so he will be eyeing the prize wicket of Russell on Saturday.

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