On the flip side, we have KKR who have been rather abysmal with their showing and have had no luck on their side either. They would have been hopeful of doing well against Rajasthan Royals, since that franchise too had been struggling. But KKR continued to disappoint, and put up yet another shoddy show against RR. They would hope a change of venue would bring them some change of luck too. KKR desperately need it.
In the game against MI, the PBKS bowlers performed really well. The conditions in Chennai were in their favour, but they still needed to exploit it. And they did so, with the mix of experience and youth in Mohammed Shami and Ravi Bishnoi standing out. Both claimed identical figures of 2 for 21. Deepak Hooda also chipped in with 1 for 15 while Moises Henriques went for only 12 in his three even though he didn’t claim a wicket.
PBKS only needed to bat sensibly in the chase. KL Rahul did that after Mayank Agarwal gave them a breezy start. Chris Gayle then put the finishing touches on the match with his trademark big hits. Shahrukh Khan has been impressive for them in the lower-order. They will now expect runs from Nicholas Pooran and consistency from Hooda.
KKR will need to get their act together in both departments, batting in particular. Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi have gone off the boil after a good start. Captain Eoin Morgan and Shubman Gill are struggling big time. The lower-order of Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell and Pat Cummins has done better than the top order.
In the bowling, Varun Chakravarthy has been their best bowler by a distance. The experienced Cummins will need to lift his game while Prasidh Krishna and Shivam Mavi will have to support him. It remains to be seen whether Sunil Narine can still be a threat with the ball.
KKR: Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi
PBKS: KL Rahul (C & WK), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Moises Henriques, Shahrukh Khan, Fabian Allen, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh, Ravi Bishnoi
--Renin Wilben Albert