Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings face each other in match number eight of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season on Friday.

Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings face each other in match number eight of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season on Friday. The match is being held at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. KKR have already played two games, winning one before losing to RCB. However, in the game versus RCB, they made it a close battle despite scoring 128. Meanwhile, Punjab Kings decimated RCB in their opening clash. They are a real threat and have the desired balance on offer. KKR will hope to bat well in this contest.

Analysis of KKR

KKR openers Ajinkya Rahane and Venkatesh Iyer failed to get going versus RCB and this time around they have another strong contest on offer. KKR were also sheepish in the middle-order versus RCB, failing to show any character and going for big shots. This needs to stop and a sense of calmness is what’s needed. However, it’s the bowling of KKR that can be a real threat. With PBKS strong in terms of batting, KKR can offer substance and show real composure. Sunil Narine has been at his best, with an economy rate of under four this season. Umesh Yadav and Tim Southee are highly experienced veterans of the game. Both did well versus RCB. Varun Chakravarthy needs to find his element back after leaking some runs. KKR also need to trust Venkatesh Iyer more with the ball and give him the freedom.

Analysis of PBKS

PBKS made light work of the 206-run target set by RCB in their first game. The Mayank Agarwal-led side promises a terrific batting unit with several big-hitters on offer. Mayank and Shikhar can set the tone upfront. The presence of Liam Livingstone, Shahrukh Khan, and Odean Smith will help PBKS big time. They can produce the big hits in crucial moments. Bhanuka Rajapaksa can be a real threat. He is a talented T20 specialist. The big boost for PBKS is the availability of Kagiso Rabada. Rabada will add a lot of shine and mettle in this PBKS side, which looks balanced. Rahul Chahar and Arshdeep Singh can be extremely crucial as well. Altogether, one can see a close game being played with the bowling of KKR versus the batting of Punjab.

Head-to-head record

The two teams have met each other 29 times in the competition so far. KKR have the edge over PBKS, pocketing 19 wins. Meanwhile, Punjab have sealed 10 wins. Since the 2020 edition of the IPL, The teams are tied 2-2 in terms of head-to-head meetings. Last season, they shared the spoils in the group stage.

What is the expected playing XI of both sides?

KKR predicted XI: Ajinkya Rahane, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer (c), Sam Billings, Sheldon Jackson (wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Varun Chakaravarthy

PBKS predicted XI: Mayank Agarwal (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (wk), Odean Smith, Shahrukh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Sandeep Sharma, Rahul Chahar, Kagiso Rabada

Which team is the predicted winner?

Both sides are strong and have the desired personnel on offer. However, PBKS can be a real threat. They have a much better batting unit. The openers are strong and can set the tone. The middle-order can challenge any top side in the world. Odean Smith is their star man alongside Shahrukh. They can dismantle KKR’s plans at the death. KKR have struggled with their fifth bowler as seen versus RCB. Also, Rabada’s presence is a huge lift for Punjab. He is a real wicket-taking bowler and has fired for DC over the years. He can put KKR’s top-order under pressure here. This can open the floodgates. PBKS are the favourites here to clinch two crucial points.

Key details about the pitch, timing, and TV listing

The track at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai has assisted the pace bowlers early on with the new ball moving off the deck. However, batters can assert themselves more as the match progresses. The dew factor will have a role as well and that can be crucial. Whichever side wins the toss will look to field first here. The match will be telecast live on the Star Sports Network. Viewers can stream the same on the Disney+ Hotstar app (paid subscription). The match will start at 7:30 PM IST.

The major batting stats on offer

Shikhar Dhawan has scored 5,827 runs in the IPL at 34.89. Notably, Dhawan has racked up 810 runs in 28 games at a strike rate of 118.42 versus the Knight Riders. PBKS captain Mayank Agarwal has amassed 2,163 runs at 23.51. He can surpass Rahul Dravid’s tally of 2,174 runs. Meanwhile, Ajinkya Rahane can get past the mark of 4,000 runs. He has piled up 3,994 runs to date.

The major bowling stats on offer

KKR ace Sunil Narine has claimed 144 wickets, including 31 versus PBKS. He can be a real threat. Russell, who has 73 IPL scalps at 26.56, needs two more to reach a milestone of 75. He can become the 37th bowler in IPL to take 75-plus wickets. He can also steer clear of Munaf Patel (74 scalps). Umesh Yadav (123) can get to 125 scalps. He can become just the 12th bowler to achieve 125-plus wickets.

Dream11 Fantasy XI (Option 1)

Batsmen: Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Shahrukh Khan

All-rounders: Sunil Narine, Odean Smith

Bowlers: Kagiso Rabada, Tim Southee, Rahul Chahar, Umesh Yadav

Dream11 Fantasy XI (Option 2)

Batsmen: Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (vc), Mayank Agarwal, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (wk), Shahrukh Khan

All-rounders: Sunil Narine (c), Odean Smith

Bowlers: Kagiso Rabada, Tim Southee, Rahul Chahar, Umesh Yadav

Dream11 Fantasy XI: Captain and vice-captain choices

Shikhar Dhawan: The veteran T20 stalwart can be a real threat for PBKS. He has enjoyed a good show versus KKR and can take the game to KKR by being the perfect anchorman. A master performer, Dhawan can be selected as the captain.

Sunil Narine: He has been a champion performer so far for KKR. In the two games, he has given away just 15 and 12 runs from eight overs, picking a wicket. He can also do well with the bat and hit the desired boundaries.

Dream11 fantasy: Vice-captain choices

Umesh Yadav: The performance versus CSK and RCB will give Umesh plenty of confidence. His experience with the new ball can be immense for KKR. The veteran pacer has plenty of experience and has 123 wickets under his belt. He can get the key scalps in the PP overs.

Odean Smith: The star West Indian cricketer can be influential with his big-hitting skills for Punjab. A champion performer, Smith had a sound game versus RCB and that can help him with the desired level of confidence. He can look to play until the end and get the big shots.

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