Ravichandran Ashwin-led KXIP will also be keenly following today’s match as his team too has 12 points and is now at the fifth position with a Net Run Rate of -0.518. They won their last match against Mumbai Indians breaking the two-match consecutive losses.
From 17 encounters, RR holds the upper hand with 9 wins and 7 defeats at the hands of KKR in IPL. “I think those two guys are probably the two best young Indian batsmen I’ve seen in a long, long time”, the former leg-spinner said.
The Knight Riders always looked to have enough in reserve, however, and even though Lynn compiled a more circumspect knock than usual before falling to Stokes, Dinesh Karthik (41 not out) and Russell (20no) finished the job. RR, on the other hand, will also stay on the fourth spot. The likes of Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Tom Curran will be looking to exploit the home conditions to trouble an RR batting unit who has performed in stops and starts. Heavily depending on Jos Buttler and his bat is both the team’s strength and an Achilles heel.
Rajasthan began well with the bat as they reached to 50 runs on the at just 3.2 overs where Butler smashed 28 runs in a single over off Shivam Mavi. It was the height and the skid on the bumper which made Tripathi succumb to it, as he gloved it through to the keeper. There, RR will try to take the revenge no doubt.
Coming in the eighth over, Kuldeep ran through his four overs and took a wicket in each of them to help KKR bounce back from a poor start.
Despite Jaydev Unadkat swinging a few to the fence lower down, it could only get the Royals as far as 142, which was very underwhelming after their spectacular start. He has been economical according to T20 standards but hasn’t been among wickets. From 63/0 around the fifth over mark, the Royals spectacularly lost their way and got bowled out for 142.
He, however, could not finish the game as he too got out to Stokes delivery in the 16th over. His last five scores of 67, 51, 82, 95*, 94* makes him the most feared batsman now in IPL. However, KKR only pounced back after Kuldeep was introduced into the attack. He bowled slower, gave the ball air making sure the flight was over the eye level of the batsmen.
The procession of wickets continued with Kuldeep foxing Stuart Binny (1) who was stumped and the left-arm wrist-spinner continued to wreck carnage when Ben Stokes (11 off 13) chipped one back to him as Rajasthan slipped to 107 for 7.
“He likes leading from the front, he leads with a lot of energy”.
Jos Buttler and Jofra Archer have been outstanding for the Royals and have played a major role in their campaign.