The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will face the Rajasthan Royals (RR) in match number 47 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Monday. KKR have completely lost their way after a bright start and are now down at the eighth position in the points table. They are on a five-match losing spree. In their last match, they lost to the Delhi Capitals (DC) by four wickets as their batting let them down once again. Rajasthan are in the top three of the points table, with six wins from nine matches. However, they were stunned by the Mumbai Indians (MI) in their last match and hence will be keen to make an impact on Monday. Here are five player battles to watch out for in KKR vs RR clash.
1. Jos Buttler vs Umesh Yadav: This could be the battle that could set the tone of the match. If Jos Buttler gets going, he will cream the opposition into submission. The match against Mumbai was a one-off. Given the kind of form that he is in, the RR opener would look to go on an all-out attack from the start. And, if he gets going, a record-equaling fourth hundred could be there for the taking. Umesh Yadav has rediscovered his rhythm after a couple of poor matches. He kept the team in the hunt with a fantastic performance against Delhi, dismissing Prithvi Shaw, David Warner, and Rishabh Pant. KKR will want him to knock over Buttler early.
2. Shreyas Iyer vs Yuzvendra Chahal: The last time RR met KKR, Yuzvendra Chahal derailed Kolkata’s innings, claiming four wickets in an over, including a hat-trick. One of his victims was KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer. The smart leggie trapped the well-set batter lbw for 85 with a sharp full-length delivery on the middle and leg, which would have hit the stumps. Kolkata went on to lose the match by seven runs. Shreyas has looked good during most of his visits to the crease but has failed to take his side over the line. Also, he has had his issues with leg-spinners. Chahal would be well aware of that and will look to exploit his weakness again.
3. Sanju Samson vs Sunil Narine: This will be an interesting battle of opposites. The exciting Sanju Samson will look to take on the bowling again, while the calm and composed Sunil Narine will be keen to stop the flow of runs, apart from, of course, claiming wickets. When they come face to face, it will be a battle of fire vs ice. Samson would undoubtedly look to take on Narine. That is his natural game. Narine will be keen to thwart him with his variations. Who will come out on top in this contest?
4. Nitish Rana vs Ravichandran Ashwin: Left-handed Nitish Rana vs Ravichandran Ashwin will be a good match up. After a poor start to IPL 2022, KKR batter Rana has not begun scoring some crucial runs for the team. In the last match as well, it was his fighting half-century that gave Kolkata’s total some respectability. Ashwin has been in fine form for RR. He can get the ball to spin away sharply from the left-hander and can bring it in as well. He will try out all his variations without a doubt. Will it work?
5. Shimron Hetmyer vs Andre Russell: This could just be a one-over battle, perhaps in the last over of the innings. But it will be crucial nonetheless. Shimron Hetmyer failed to get going in the last match against Mumbai, so he will be keen to make amends with a blistering cameo. Andre Russell often comes in towards the end of the innings and goes for the yorker-length deliveries. An exciting tussle on the cards between two West Indians!