After one run from four innings, the 'Wanted' posters will be all over the UAE, promising a hefty reward for Gautam Gambhir's batting form. The usually intense Gambhir has been managing a smile or two every time he has been questioned about his lack of runs, and it has helped him that Knight Riders have won two of their four matches this season despite some shaky batting.
Even if his barren spell extends, Gambhir is pretty much assured of his place in the side, since there are no reliable alternatives in the squad - Manvinder Bisla and Debabrata Das form the Indian batting back-up. Whether that will help him or not, what will certainly not help Gambhir is that he's up against Rajasthan Royals, a team that rolled over the superstar batting line-up of Royal Challengers Bangalore for 70 two days ago. Neither will the woeful form of Yusuf Pathan, who is unrecognisable from the heavy-hitting batsman whom IPL teams were clamouring for a few years ago.
Like Knight Riders, Royals also have two defeats and two wins. They have been quick to axe players who were crucial last season - James Faulkner and Brad Hodge. They turned to Tim Southee and Kane Richardson to provide the pace in the attack to complement the slower Indian bowlers, Pravin Tambe, Rajat Bhatia and Stuart Binny.
The ball has done plenty under lights in Abu Dhabi - scores so far have been 122 for 7, 135 for 6, 84 all out and 109 all out - and the toss could prove pivotal to deciding the fate of the match.
What our expert think about the game? Read on...
Both teams, Royals and KKR have won two matches each out of four they have played so far and Match ODDs are even too. Punters are more in favour of Royals (marginally 55% as of now). Kolkata is struggling on batting front whereas Royals lost the match against the Punjab after putting handsome total.
Gambhir has scored only 1 run in four matches and yet they manage to grab couple of wins is the only which could be proven surprised if he manages to get some runs and this what everyone is expecting. A nice show from KKR batsmen.
As far as Royals is concern, we are quite impressed with their performances so far. Their batsmen are doing reasonably well and their bowlers are quite descent too expecting the match against the Punjab, but then KKR batting line-up is in shaking state now.
So our experts have decided to go with Rajasthan Royals in this match because of the simple reasons that they are bit more consistent in all front if you compare them with KKR and they have register a comfortable win against the Banglore whereas KKR lost while chasing a small total against Punjab.
19th match - Kolkata Knight Riders v Rajasthan Royals, April 29, 2014
- Rajasthan Royals (56% Votes)
- Kolkata Knight Riders (44% Votes)