The in-form Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will take on each other in match number of 18 of the Indian Premier League 2018 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Saturday. KKR defeated Rajasthan Royals in the previous match while Punjab overcame Sunrisers Hyderabad courtesy a stunning hundred by Chris Gayle, thus ending the latter’s winning streak.
KKR will be pleased with the all-round of Nitish Rana, which continued against Rajasthan. Rana took the wickets of Ajinkya Rahane and D’Arcy Short, and also made an unbeaten 35. With the ball, the spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla were again on top of their game.
In the batting, Robin Uthappa’s return to form signals good news for KKR. Captain Dinesh Karthik also has been among the runs. The big worry is the form of opener Chris Lynn. On the other hand, Sunil Narine has continued to surprise with his offbeat batting skills.
Dream XI for Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab: Dinesh Karthik (C) (W), Piyush Chawla, Tom Curran, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Robin Uthappa, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill.
Punjab would be elated with the return to Chris Gayle. The Windies legend made a stunning 104 from 63 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad. This was preceded by his 33-ball 63 against Chennai. His assault on Rashid Khan was ridiculously brilliant.
All in all, Punjab have a nice batting line-up with Aaron Finch, KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal apart from Yuvraj Singh. Their bowling though has been disappointing, Mohit Sharma particularly going for too many runs. Can the bowlers bounce back against Bangalore?
Dream XI for Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders: Ravichandran Ashwin (C), Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch, Chris Gayle, Karun Nair, Axar Patel, Lokesh Rahul (W), Yuvraj Singh, Barinder Sran, David Miller, Mujeeb Ur Rahman