The home to the two times IPL Champion, Eden Gardens will have the first match on its ground. Kolkata knight riders have played two away games this season and had different outcomes in both the matches. While Kings XI Punjab has surprised everyone by winning both their matches of IPL 2017 till now. Kolkata lackluster bowling and sloppy fielding cost them the game the other night against Mumbai Indians. And in the previous match, they won comfortably with all wickets in hand against Gujarat lions. Punjab, on the other hand, has won both the games on their great batting display and disciplined bowling attack. The mantra of KXIP chase is that the openers provide stability to the team while Miller and Maxwell provide the fireworks at the end.
Last time they Played: Last time the two team met was a close contest and Kings XI Punjab fell 5 runs short at the end. At, Eden garden KKR batting first posted a total of 164 runs on the board and Kings XI Punjab in their quota of 20 overs scored 159 runs for the loss of 9 wickets and lost the match.
Head to head Battle: Kolkata knight riders have won 13 out of 19 games played against Kings XI Punjab. They have won seven consecutive games against Kings XI Punjab. At Eden Gardens, Kolkata Knight Riders have won 6 out of 8 matches played.
Kolkata Knight Riders: New injury concern regarding their hard-hitting opening batsman Chris Lynn is a worry for the franchise. But amidst the bad news, a good news is that Umesh Yadav is now available for the selection and can replace Ankit Rajpoot to make it in the squad. Shakib al Hasan is likely to be part of the team in place of Chris Lynn.
Likely XI: Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan/Colin de grandhomme, Suryakumar Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Chris Woakes, Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine, Trent Boult, Umesh Yadav/Ankit Rajpoot.
Kings XI Punjab: two wins in as many games, Punjab will not tinker much with the side and the winning combination. They are likely to play the same winning combination.
Likely XI: Hashim Amla, Manan Vohra, Wriddhiman Saha, David Miller, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan/Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron
Players to watch out for:
Robin Uthappa: with Chris Lynn out from the side, Robin will be the new partner of Gautam Gambhir at the opening and he will likely to start afresh with a change in his batting order.
David Miller: the First match has seen the glimpse of this hard-hitting proteas and he will be in the spotlight to put up a better show.
Match Prediction: KKR will have 60% chances of winning the match.
- The match will go down the wire, choose your team after the first half.
- Session of 6 overs should be made down in this match.
Stats that matter:
- Chasing seems the sensible thing to do at Eden Gardens, according to numbers from the last IPL season. The average score batting first in 2016 was 157, and five out of six-night games were won by the team batting second. The odd one out were Kings XI, who fell short by seven runs.
- David Miller averages 54 with a strike-rate of 147 in the second innings as opposed to 28 and 139 in the first. Yusuf Pathan averages 37 with a strike-rate of 153 in the second innings as opposed to 27 and 137 in the first. In 2016, Glenn Maxwell averaged 52 with a strike-rate of 162 batting second but those numbers fell off a cliff when he batted first: average 3.83, strike-rate 82.
- Kings XI have been the most generous team in conceding scores of fifty or more to opposition batsmen. The overall number is 118; Knight Riders have contributed 17.
- Although Axar Patel has been their designated floater, Wriddhiman Saha could possibly have a go at the top of the order on Thursday. He has smashed Sunil Narine at a strike-rate of 144 and Piyush Chawla at 156.