We had an exciting match last night, as Chennai Super Kings barely managed to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad after a bruising encounter.
This means CSK are through to the final, and the winner of this Eliminator between KKR and Rajasthan Royals will play Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator 2. That will decide who gets to play CSK in the final.
It’s a miracle that Rajasthan Royals have got so far and they can only thank Jos Buttler for it. Butler made tons of runs for them once he was moved to the opening batsman slot in the middle of the IPL and single-handedly put his side through to the play-offs.
Had Buttler played in that position from the start of the season, Rajasthan Royals would have made it here much more easily. The problem is Buttler will not feature in the IPL anymore. He and Ben Stokes have left for England duty. So what we have is a very much weakened Rajasthan Royals outfit.
KKR are much stronger and they have done spectacularly well in this competition. Captain Dinesh Karthik has done nothing wrong and has got the best out of his players. He has done very well with the bat himself, emerging as a crucial middle order batsman, perhaps one of the best in the Indian Premier League.
Karthik is backed by Andre Russell who has had a decent IPL even though he has not won too many matched by himself. We are yet to see the full potential of Russell, except for one occasion when he blasted 40 off just 12 balls.
Sunil Narine has been brilliant for the KKR team, starring for them with the bat and the ball. It is just amazing to see how far he has come as a batsman. He is now a serious threat at the top of the order, and can destroy any bowling attack. Indeed, you might even argue that Narine has performed better than Chris Gayle as a batsman in this Indian Premier League 2018!
Prediction: KKR start as STRONG favorites to win this match. Rajasthan Royals have been weakened by the absence of Stokes and more importantly Buttler, and we can’t see them beat a very strong KKR outfit.
Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Chris Lynn, 2 Sunil Narine, 3 Robin Uthappa, 4 Nitish Rana, 5 Dinesh Karthik (capt & wk), 6 Andre Russell, 7 Shubman Gill, 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Javon Searles, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Prasidh Krishna
Rajasthan Royals: 1 Rahul Tripathi, 2 Ajinkya Rahane (capt), 3 Sanju Samson, 4 Heinrich Klaase, 5 Stuart Binny, 6 K Gowtham, 7 Jofra Archer, 8 Shreyas Gopal, 9 Ish Sodhi, 10 Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Ben Laughlin
Watch Kolkata Knight Riders play Rajasthan Royals tonight at 7 pm live on Star Sports!