Going by the form of the two teams this season, the upcoming Indian Premier League [IPL] contest between the Kolkata Knight Riders [KKR] and the Gujarat Lions [GL] might look like a mismatch, but when it comes to T20 cricket, you can never rule out any side before the first ball is bowled.
Here, we look at three players who you should look at picking in your fantasy team for this encounter.
GAUTAM GAMBHIR [950,000]
The Knight Riders captain, with 196 runs from five matches at an average of 65.33 and a strike-rate of 142.02, has been one of the outstanding batsmen in this season’s IPL and should definitely be on your mind when you select your fantasy team for this match.
The bowling attack of the Lions has been below par in the tournament so far and Gambhir will be keen to take advantage of that as he looks to lead his team to a fourth successive win.
SUNIL NARINE [1,000,000]
The West Indies mystery spinner has been one of the key performers for KKR ever since he made his IPL debut. Although he has picked up just four wickets in five games this season, his economy rate is just 5.60 and that is something that will fetch you points.
In addition to his bowling, Narine has opened the batting in a couple of matches and if he does so here, it will be an added bonus.
BRENDON MCCULLUM [950,000]
The former New Zealand skipper might have retired from international cricket over a year ago, but he still continues to thrill fans with some attacking strokeplay in various T20 leagues across the world and the IPL is no different.
McCullum has been in great form this season, with four 30+ scores from five matches which include two half-centuries in his last two matches.
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and elected to field first against the Kings XI Punjab at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore.
Mumbai, who are the away team for this game, have made no changes to their playing XI that defeated the Gujarat Lions on Sunday.
The Kings XI, on the other hand, have made four changes with Shaun Marsh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Marcus Stoinis, and Swapnil Singh coming into the side.
Manan Vohra, who played a brilliant knock in Punjab’s previous match, is forced to sit out as he is unwell. David Miller, Eoin Morgan, and KC Cariappa are the other three players from the last game that miss out.
You can follow every ball of the action with our in-play scorecard, commentary, and stats below.
High-flying Kolkata Knight Riders will host Gujarat Lions, who have been having a forgettable season, in Match 23 of the 2017 Indian Premier League [IPL] season on Friday.
The Knight Riders go into the match as huge favourites, having won four out of the five matches that they have played this season. On the other hand, the Lions are desperate for a victory as they have registered just one win from five games in the tournament so far.
This is the second time the two sides are facing off in the league this season, with Kolkata winning the first contest by 10 wickets.
Ahead of the match, we have the latest team news, time and date, as well as how you can watch all the action from the UAE.
DATE, TIME, VENUE INFO
Date: April 21, 2017 (Friday)
Time: 18:30 GST, 20:00 local time (IST), 14:30 GMT
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
WHERE TO WATCH, LIVE STREAMING INFO
TV: UAE – OSN Sports Cricket HD, India – Sony Six, Sony Six HD (English), Sony Max, Sony Max HD 3 (Hindi), UK – Sky Sports
Online streaming: hotstar.com, Hotstar app (in India only)
TEAM NEWS, SQUADS, PREDICTED XIs
KKR SQUAD: Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Andre Russell, Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Shakib Al Hasan, Chris Lynn, Umesh Yadav, Yusuf Pathan, Sheldon Jackson, Ankit Singh Rajpoot, Trent Boult, Chris Woakes, Rishi Dhawan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Rovman Powell, R Sanjay Yadav, Ishank Jaggi, Darren Bravo, Sayan Ghosh, Colin de Grandhomme.
Probably the toughest thing to predict with the Kolkata line-up is which player is likely to come out to open alongside Gautam Gambhir. After losing Chris Lynn due to injury, they pulled a surprise by sending in Sunil Narine as an opener, but in the last match, it was Colin de Grandhomme who came out to open.
With de Grandhomme having failed to make the most of his opportunities, it won’t be surprising if Shakib Al Hasan is included in the playing XI in place of the New Zealand all-rounder.
PREDICTED KKR XI: Gambhir (c), Narine, Uthappa (wk), Pandey, Yusuf, Shakib, Suryakumar, Woakes, Kuldeep, Coulter-Nile, Umesh.
GL SQUAD: Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, James Faulkner, Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Dwayne Smith, Dinesh Karthik, Dhawal Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Andrew Tye, Ishan Kishan, Pradeep Sangwan, Shivil Kaushik, Shadab Jakati, Jaydev Shah, Nathu Singh, Basil Thampi, Tejas Singh Baroka, Manpreet Gony, Jason Roy, Munaf Patel, Chirag Suri, Shelly Shaurya, Shubham Agrawal, Pratham Singh, Aksh Deep Nath.
The bowling department has been a big worry for the Lions. The spinners, especially, have been below par which includes Ravindra Jadeja who hasn’t been able to replicate his Test form in the IPL.
Although Dwayne Bravo has started training with the squad, he isn’t expected to be fit in time for this match.
PREDICTED GL XI: Smith, McCullum, Raina, Finch, Karthik (wk), Kishan, Jadeja, Praveen, Tye, Thampi, Kulkarni.
(Last five matches – with latest match first)
KKR: W W W L W
GL: L L W L L
Kolkata have the form book in their favour, so we’re expecting a win for the hosts in this encounter.