A mildly jittery Rajasthan Royals will be facing off against an out-of-sorts Kolkata Knight Riders in a game that is a virtual do-or-die for the Knights. With the boys from Kolkata really struggling to play good cricket at this stage of the tournament, and are unable to generate any sort of rhythm and momentum, this should be the perfect game for the Royals to make a comeback themselves, having tasted defeat themselves in their last encounter.
Kolkata will have to summon the spirits of last year and play some brilliant live cricket, when they were down in the dumps, and defied all odds to make their way to the finals, because they will need a similar sort of miracle, if not more. For the Royals, it will be a case of more of the same brand of cricket that they have played over the past month, and they should be good to go.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Put simply, the Knights have been absolutely woeful. After a strong start, they have absolutely lost their way in the tournament, losing winnable games, and playing some really poor cricket on their way to 5 straight losses. They now find themselves in a similar situation to last year, where they will have to win all their remaining matches to have a chance of making the playoffs. The form of Venkatesh Iyer has been a big issue, with him not able to deliver either with the bat as well as the ball, and that is hurting the Knights very dearly. Their combinations have not really had the desired effect and there have been some instances of very ordinary captaincy as well. The Knight Riders will have to play out of their skins, and make sure that matters remain in their own hands.
The Royals had their special day ruined, with their party spoiled by the Mumbai Indians. They were too dependent on Buttler, and once he departed, not a lot of them managed to step up and continue from where he left off. The Royals will have to understand that they cannot always be reliant on Buttler, and will need others to raise their hands and contribute with the bat on the days that Buttler has an off night. The bowling has been more than holding its own, with all contributing at key moments. It is no panic stations yet for the Royals, so they will not be fretting just yet.
The Knight Riders just hold the advantage in the head-to-head between the two sides, winning 13 of the 26 matches between them. Earlier this season, the Royals just about managed to hold their nerve, winning by just 7 runs, after a high-scoring encounter that saw more than 400 runs being scored. Jos Buttler led the charge with a hundred again, while Chahal turned the tide with a hat-trick.
The Knights are in a horrible moment right now and will be desperate for a performance to save their season, which will force them to be aggressive right from the start, which can play right into the hands of the Royals. So expect the Royals to be heavy favorites in this encounter.
Date and Time
2nd May 2022 (Monday) at 7:30 pm
Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.