IPL 2019, KKR vs KXIP: Top 5 player battles to watch out for

Here’s a look at the top five player battles to watch out for in the match between KKR and KXIP.

Updated: Mar 27, 2019 12:58:05

By HT Correspondent

Chris Gayle in action. (PTI)

The Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab snatched victories from the jaws of defeat in their opening encounters in IPL 2019. KKR were down and out when they were chasing Sunrisers Hyderabad’s total of 181/3, but then Andre Russell came in at number five and bailed them out with a 19-ball 49-run innings. Kolkata clinched the match by six wickets.

The Kings XI Punjab on the other hand found a victory through a cheeky dismissal by Ravichandran Ashwin. Jos Buttler was batting brilliantly on 69 runs from 43 balls and had put the Rajasthan team on course for a victory. However, when Ashwin was getting ready to deliver the sixth ball of the 13th over, he noticed that Buttler moved out of the crease at the non striker’s end. The KXIP skipper took the bails off and ran him out. Thereafter, RR’s chase derailed and they were 14 runs short of Punjab’s total (184/4) in the end.

Here’s a look at the top five player battles to watch out for in the match between KKR and KXIP.

Chris Gayle vs Sunil Narine

Chris Gayle has been one of the most destructive batsmen in the IPL, but Narine has always had a way to contain the runs flowing from the West Indian’s bat. Gayle has recorded a strike-rate of 85.19 and has been dismissed twice by the spinner in the IPL. Gayle has scored 46 runs from 54 balls against Narine in the cash-rich league. The Universe Boss will hope to improve his record against Narine in the upcoming match-up.

Andre Russell vs Mohammed Shami

Mohammed Shami will have to very wary of Andre Russell when he bowls to him in the IPL match in Kolkata on Wednesday. Russell has smashed Shami for 47 runs off just 14 balls in the IPL. The West Indian has batted at a strike-rate of 335.71 against the Indian fast bowler in the cash-rich league. Russell is in good form and he will fancy his chances against Shami.

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Dinesh Karthik vs Mujeeb Ur Rahman

Dinesh Karthik has had the better of Mujeeb Ur Rahman in the IPL so far. The KKR captain has smashed Mujeeb for 24 runs off 10 deliveries in the cash-rich league. Karthik is a vital player for the Kolkata Knight Riders and he may target Mujeeb when he needs to up the ante in the match on Wednesday. The Afghan spinner has not taken Karthik’s wicket in the IPL yet.

Robin Uthappa vs Ravichandran Ashwin

Robin Uthappa has scored 88 runs off 65 balls against Ravichandran Ashwin, but the off-spinner has dismissed the KKR batsman five times in the IPL. The KKR batsman will have to have clear strategy in his mind when he faces Ashwin, because the off-spinner has had the better of him on many occasions. Uthappa managed 35 runs off 27 balls in the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, but he would certainly like to get a big score against Kings XI Punjab.

ALSO READ: IPL 2019: No question of lecturing Ashwin - BCCI official speaks after Mankad controversy

KL Rahul vs Piyush Chawla

KL Rahul scored just four runs in the KXIP’s match against RR and he would be certainly hoping for a big score in the upcoming matches. India are yet to finalise their number four batsman for the World Cup and if Rahul scores big then he could be given a go. However, Rahul will have to counter the Chawla effect in the match against KKR as the leg-spinner has dismissed Rahul twice in 17 balls in the IPL.

First Published: Mar 26, 2019 21:03:36


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