Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders Vs Rising Pune Supergiant

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Kolkata Knight Riders and Rising Pune Supergiant will lock horns today at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata for the 41st match of this season’s IPL. After suffering defeat at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad, the home side would be looking to bounce back to winning ways against a reinvigorated RPS. With Ben Stokes in red hot form, Gambhir must employ a stratagem to thwart the English all-rounder. With five games having been played at this venue, the team batting first has scored an average of 164, which is a pretty decent score. Also, the team batting first has won thrice, and the team chasing has won twice this time around.

Players to watch out for:

Ben Stokes: Stokes, with a match winning konck last game, will be looking to carry on his fine form roping in another victory for the RPS. Lately, his form has been on a surge. He either delivers with the ball or his bat, sometimes both, intimidating the opponents. KKR need to be chary dealing with him.

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Rahul Tripathi: The youngster from Maharashtra, who was bought for his base price, 10 Lakhs, has proved he is much more worth than that. Having scored 259 at an impressive strike rate of 148, he will be planning to assail the KKR bowlers.

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Gambhir: He has been playing an exemplifying captain’s innings since the start of the season, sending a strong message to the national selectors for the imminent Champions Trophy. Trailing behind David Warner in the race for the Orange cap, Gambhir is a bugbear to any bowling unit.

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Robin Uthappa: Like his captain, Uthappa has also been in good shape till now. Being the third highest run scorer with a staggering strike rate of 170, he might deal a big blow to RPS.

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Trivia:

KKR have lost only once at Eden Gardens this season, which came up against Gujarat Lions.

Of the three meeting between KKR and RPS, KKR has a dominant 3-0 upperhand.

MS Dhoni has amassed an average of 63 against KKR in 16 innings – the most for him against an opposition.

Probable XI:

Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (c), Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa (wk), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Sheldon Jackson, Chris Woakes, Colin de Grandhomme, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav.

Rising Pune Supergiant: Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steve Smith (C),  Ben Stokes, Manoj Tiwary, MS Dhoni (wk), Dan Christian, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Jaydev Unadkat, Imran Tahir.

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