Gujarat Titans vs Kolkata Knight Riders: Preview and Prediction
The 15th season of the Indian Premier League is slowly catching the top level of excitement. All the fixtures are keeping the fans on their toes, and one match like that is Gujarat Titans vs Kolkata Knight Riders to be played on Sunday afternoon at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
The defending champions, Gujarat Titans continued their new season’s campaign from where they left off. They faced Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals in their two initial matches, and despite all the odds, they won both matches.
However, their ace batsman, Kane Williamson suffered a gruesome injury against Super Kings while he was trying to take a catch at the boundary line. Hence, Dasun Shanaka has been named as the replacement for the Blackcaps captain.
Talking about Kolkata Knight Riders, they recently named England’s Jason Roy as the replacement for their former skipper Shreyas Iyer, who has been ruled out of the IPL following his back surgery. Against Titans, the English opening batsman will be available to be picked up.
Iyer’s absence was a major setback for Knight Riders. However, they named Nitish Rana as their new captain. Still, the debut of Suyash Sharma against Royal Challengers Bangalore was a new ray of hope for the side as the youngster picked up three major wickets.
What have they done so far?
Kolkata Knight Riders will travel to the Narendra Modi Stadium in sheer confidence after their throbbing win over Faf du Plessis’ Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Knight Riders started their season with a loss. However, in their last match, they defeated Royal Challengers by a whopping 81 runs. Hence, the win helped them ascend in the league table.
Kolkata’s spin bowling found a new life when they faced Faf du Plessis’ side. Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine, and Suyash Sharma utterly annihilated the batting line-up of Bangalore. Moreover, the pitch of Narendra Modi Stadium has always proved to be good for spinners.
Their Afghan wicketkeeper-batsman Rahmanullah Gurbaz has been a decent deal for KKR until now. However, the Knight Riders’ middle order needs to roll up their sleeves, especially Mandeep Singh and Nitish Rana.
On the other hand, Gujarat Titans are among the only unbeaten teams alongside Punjab Kings after two matches. Titans’ captain, Hardik Pandya has been silent in the initial two fixtures, however, Sai Sudharsan has been a highly positive prospect for the team.
Talking about the bowling of Gujarat Titans, Mohammed Shami, and Rashid Khan have been the top stars. In their last match, Shami took three crucial wickets that broke the back of Delhi Capitals. Moreover, Rashid Khan’s spin didn’t let David Warner’s side bring up a huge total.
Head to Head Record
Gujarat Titans have faced Kolkata Knight Riders only once in the history of the tournament because Hardik Pandya’s side came out of oblivion last year.
Titans squared off against Knight Riders at Dr DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai last year in April. In that match, Gujarat won the toss and they decided to bat first. With the help of Hardik Pandya’s heroic 67-run innings, the Titans managed to post a respectable 156-run total.
When Knight Riders came to bat, Mohammed Shami and Yash Dayal dismissed the top order of Kolkata for cheap bucks. Andre Russell and Rinku Singh tried reviving the Riders, however, all their tires were in vain. Gujarat Titans won the match by 8 runs.
Sai Sudharsan (Gujarat Titans) – Sai Sudharsan’s entry into the playing XI of Gujarat Titans is surely a sheer example of the Butterfly effect. Following Blackcaps skipper Kane Williamson’s Injury, the Indian batsman got a spot in the playing XI.
Since getting a place, he has been playing a great role. Last year, he got a handful of chances, but he wasn’t actually admirable in his initial attempts. However, this season against Delhi Capitals, he portrayed himself as a trustable force. Hence, he’ll be the source of attraction when they lock horns against Kolkata Knight Riders.
Rinku Singh (Kolkata Knight Riders) – Rinku Singh has been a blessing for Kolkata Knight Riders. He can be used as a surprise element in bowling, moreover, bowlers are still failing to read him.
He played a major role in batting last year against the Titans. Moreover, he joined forces with Shardul Thakur against Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last match. His partnership with the medium-fast bowler gave his side a major boost. Hence, Rinku Singh can be the x-factor for Knight Riders.
Predicted Playing XI
Gujarat Titans: Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Shubman Gill, Sai Sudharsan, Hardik Pandya ©, David Miller, Rahul Tewatia, Rashid Khan, Shivam Mavi, Mohammed Shami, Alzarri Joseph, Joshua Little
Kolkata Knight Riders: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana ©, Mandeep Singh, Rinku Singh, Shardul Thakur, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee
Gujarat Titans will host Kolkata Knight Riders at the Narendra Modi Stadium. Hence, they’ll have the home advantage in addition to the winning form. However, they won both games while chasing and their bowling played a major role in the triumph.
On the other hand, Knight Riders’ bowling will decide their fate. With a bowling dominant line-up, just like the other two matches, they’ll attempt winning the toss and batting first. Hence, Hardik Pandya and Co are expected to provide an improved display and keep their unbeaten run alive.