New Delhi. Two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders will try to stay in the race for the playoffs (IPL 2021 Playoff) by registering a big win against Rajasthan Royals (KKR vs RR) on Thursday. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) with 12 points from 13 matches are currently at the fourth position in the table. He is ahead of the defending champions Mumbai Indians in terms of net run rate. Mumbai Indians also have 12 points from 13 matches and have to play a match against bottom-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad on Friday.
If both KKR and Mumbai Indians win their last matches, then net run rate will be decided so the Eoin Morgan-led side (0.294) would like to take the lead as they currently have a ‘positive’ run rate while Mumbai’s (-0.048) ) run rate is ‘negative’. KKR got mixed results in the second leg of the tournament, winning four matches and losing two.
KKR have shown amazing game in UAE
KKR started their campaign with two consecutive victories against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians, after which they lost to Chennai Super Kings but bounced back with a win over table toppers Delhi Capitals. After the loss against Punjab Kings, they kept themselves ahead in the race for the final playoff spot after beating Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets.
KKR’s performance in the second leg has been impressive and even the two matches they lost were close matches, losing in the last over. In the batting department, Venkatesh Iyer was the star player for KKR in the second leg while Rahul Tripathi was also very impressive this season. Young Shubman Gill scored a brilliant half-century in the last match of KKR which is a good sign for the team. Nitish Rana has also done well at the top of the batting order but for him the form of captain Morgan is a matter of concern.
Bangladesh’s star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan was included in the previous match and it was for the first time in the second leg that the team got new strength. In the bowling, the mysterious spinner Varun Chakraborty has been an important player of the team while Sunil Narine has also taken wickets. Tim Southee and Shivam Mavi are the new fast bowling pair for KKR in the absence of Andre Russell and Lockie Ferguson. In the matches that fast bowler Pranali Krishna played, he did well with four wickets but was dropped from the playing XI after conceding 22 runs in the 19th over against Chennai Super Kings.
Rajasthan out of playoff race
Rajasthan Royals are out of the race and are seventh in the eight-team table with 10 points from 13 matches. Rajasthan will try to end their campaign on a positive note with KKR breaking hopes on Thursday. Rajasthan have faced the brunt of the poor form of their Indian batsmen in which only Yashasvi Jaiswal and to some extent captain Sanju Samson have been able to score runs. Mustafizur Rahman is the most experienced foreign player in the team and in the presence of young Chetan Sakariya, Rajasthan Royals’ bowling experience seems to be lacking.