The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season sees match number 45 being played between Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings at the Dubai International Stadium.
KKR are placed fourth in the standings with 10 points from 11 matches. Since IPL’s resumption in the UAE, they have won three and lost one, which was a last-ball thriller. Meanwhile, PBKS have found it difficult as they battle inconsistency. They are sixth with eight points from 11 matches.
After losing a last-ball thriller against Chennai, the Knights sealed a crucial three-wicket win against Delhi to get back to winning ways. It was a crucial win for KKR, who earned two valuable points. Going into this game, KKR are expected to put up another valiant fight and take the game to Punjab. KKR need a win badly to enhance their playoff chances especially since MI and PBKS are still in the reckoning, with the fourth spot up for grabs.
Going into this match, PBKS will be short on confidence. They haven’t quite hit the ground running and batting is a major concern. After beating SRH, they were tamed by Mumbai Indians as once again the batting let them down. PBKS need answers with the bat in order to enhance themselves and have a chance. A collective show is what the Punjab unit needs.
Here we present all the concerned details to guide you through.
Key details of the match
The match is set to be held at the Dubai International Stadium. It’s scheduled to start at 7:30 PM IST. Fans can watch the action live on the Star Sports Network in their preferred languages. One can also stream the match live on the Disney+ Hotstar app (paid subscription).
Here’s the preview
KKR could be without Andre Russell for the second successive match. This means Tim Southee will play as the side’s second foreign pacer alongside the in-form Lockie Ferguson. KKR will depend once again on their two spinners in Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine. Both bowlers have done a superb job as a pair. With the bat, KKR have to once again perform as a unit. Nitish Rana has picked up form and KKR’s top-order too looks ominous. However, one worry is the form of Eoin Morgan, who has struggled big time.
PBKS have a good bowling unit that has the desired firepower and steel. Ravi Bishnoi is a class act in terms of spin. Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh hold the impetus in the pace department. PBKS can be handy against KKR batsmen with the ball, however, it’s the batting that can be a worry. Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran are badly out of form. There is a lot of pressure on Aiden Markram to perform. The top-order needs to fire for PBKS.
Probable playing XIs: KKR vs PBKS
KKR probable playing XI:
Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna
PBKS probable playing XI:
KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Ravi Bishnoi, Nathan Ellis. Harpreet Brar, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
Dream11 team prediction (option 1)
Batsmen: KL Rahul, Aiden Markram, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill
All-rounders: Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer
Bowlers: L Ferguson, Arshdeep Singh, V Chakravarthy, M Shami
Dream11 team prediction (option 2)
Batsmen: KL Rahul, Aiden Markram, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Mayank Agarwal
All-rounders: Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer
Bowlers: R Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, V Chakravarthy, M Shami
Which players can be the top picks in the Dream11 team?
In batting, the likes of Markram and Rana fit both teams. Both players are of the utmost value for their sides. One will need both these players for their sides to come out firing. They are the prime hopes and crucial in the middle-order.
Narine and Iyer are the all-rounders that can be picked. Both players are enjoying strong form and can be extremely crucial.
In the bowling department, Shami is the main customer. He is bowling well and holds the card for PBKS. Varun is the ideal bet and is a dangerous entity for KKR.
Dream11 fantasy: Captain choices
Rahul Tripathi: The number three batsman of KKR is a must watch and brings plenty to the table. He is their highest scorer in IPL 2021 and can chip in with useful runs. Tripathi is a handy batsman for his side and promises several shots in his armoury.
Aiden Markram: He has been the consistent force for PBKS in the last few games since coming on as a replacement player. Markram brings character to the side in that middle-order and is PBKS’ in-form batsman, He is a stylish player and is extremely crucial.
Dream11 fantasy: Vice-captain choices
In terms of vice-captaincy, Narine is a sound option. He can get KKR to perform with his excellent bowling form and ability to hit the boundaries in crunch situations. He is a genuine contender for the deputy role. Apart from Narine, Iyer can be picked as well. He brings three dimensions to his game.
Pitch report and conditions
The pitch in Dubai is expected to be two-paced once again. Anything around the 150-160 mark will be challenging. Spinners will have a role as the match progresses as batsmen need to apply themselves well. The weather is expected to be hot and humid which can test the players immensely.
What happened in the previous meeting between the two?
KKR beat PBKS by five wickets in the previous meeting this season.
The two teams have faced each other on 28 occasions. The tally sees KKR winning 19 and PBKS nine.
We feel KKR will come out on top here. They are the in-form side and have the credentials to come out on top.