Kolkata Knight Rider’s decision to go back to playing their best possible XI paid rich dividends as they defeated Mumbai Indians easily to stay alive in IPL 2022. They brought back Ajinkya Rahane, Venkatesh Iyer, Pat Cummins and Sheldon Jackson to the mix and achieved the desired results. The question, however, remains, is it too little too late for KKR?
The two-time champions no longer have their fate in their own hands. Even if they win their remaining two matches, they can at best reach 14 points. They will then have to look at other results and hope the stars align for them to sneak into the top four.
Kolkata Knight Riders will next face Sunrisers Hyderabad in an IPL 2022 match at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Saturday.
The injury to Pat Cummins means KKR will once again have to change their combination. KKR have been the only team so far in the tournament which has played every match with a different playing XI.
Their opponents SRH, are in a much better state despite losing four matches in a row. The Kane Williamson-led side can still qualify for the playoffs if they win their remaining three matches. But they will quickly have to get their act together.
Abhishek Sharma’s bat has gone silent in the last few matches, Rahul Tripathi too has been below-par. Their bowlers led by T Natarajan and Marco Jansen seem to have just lost a bit of fizz.
The KKR vs SRH IPL 2022 match is set to take place at the MCA stadium in Pune. The weather for Saturday is likely to be pleasant with temperatures hovering between 24-29 degrees Celcius. It is set to be a little windy towards the evening with wind speeds reaching up to 54 km/h. There is, however, no chance of rain.
Probable playing XI:
Kolkata Knight Riders: Ajinkya Rahane, Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sam Billings (wk), Sunil Narine, Tim Southee, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Abhishek Sharma, Kane Williamson (c), Rahul Tripathi, Aiden Markram, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Shashank Singh, Jagadeesha Suchith, Marco Jansen, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik, Kartik Tyagi