IPL 2019 Fantasy: Steve Smith and Jofra Archer among top picks for KKR v Rajasthan Royals

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Archer and Smith are the in-form men for the Royals. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

The 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) season heads into match 43 with Kolkata Knight Riders set to host Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.

As fans, watching the action is not the only thing to look forward to – IPL fantasy games mean you have the opportunity to get involved as well.

As the IPL’s official partner, Dream11 runs a daily contest for each game apart from the default format which is conducted per round.

Here, we focus on helping you navigate your way through the former.

BATSMAN

Steve Smith – Rajasthan Royals (9.5 credits)

The former Australia skipper had struggled for large parts of the campaign on his return to the IPL after a one-year absence but has now started to come into his own.

The decision to bestow the Rajasthan captaincy on him seems to have worked wonders with the right-hander stitching together two fluent half-centuries on the trot since taking the reins.

With Jos Buttler having returned home to England, Smith will once again have to shoulder the burden of anchoring the innings and that is something he clearly relishes.

He seemed to be hampered by his elbow injury at the start of the tournament but the shots are now flowing off Smith’s bat and a third straight half-century is not out of the question.

BOWLER

Jofra Archer – Rajasthan Royals (9 credits)

There has been no standout bowler for KKR in the 2019 edition with all-rounder Andre Russell being the side’s highest wicket-taker (seven) so far and as such, Rajasthan’s Jofra Archer is a straightforward pick.

The soon-to-be England capped pacer has been the shining light for the Royals with the ball throughout the campaign despite the team otherwise struggling in the bowling department.

The Barbados-born man has claimed 11 wickets so far in his 10 appearances while his economy-rate has been an excellent one at 6.74.

The Eden Gardens pitch has some swing and zip for the fast-bowlers early on and Archer could really profit from the conditions to swell his wicket-tally.

ALL-ROUNDER

Andre Russell – Kolkata Knight Riders (10.5 credits)

Russell has not only been the best Kolkata player on show with ball this year with the West Indies all-rounder also leading the way with the bat.

The muscular 30-year-old has battled injuries and niggles throughout the competition but has still managed to deliver the good for his side time and time again.

With the bat, there has simply been no stopping ‘Dre Russ’ with the right-hander amassing 392 runs so far at an average of over 65 and a strike-rate of nearly 218.

With the pressure mounting on KKR, there is every possibility that Russell is sent in to bat much higher up the order and that could translate into a flurry of sixes at the Eden Gardens.

WICKETKEEPER

Dinesh Karthik – Kolkata Knight Riders (9 credits)

Even though it has been his Rajasthan counterpart Sanju Samson who has had a better IPL 2019 campaign, it is Dinesh Karthik who gets our nod for the wicketkeeping slot.

The veteran wicketkeeper has only averaged around 20 with the bat this year with just the one-half century to show for. However, with the chips down for Kolkata and the noose tightening around his own neck, Karthik will be eager to bounce back with a strong display on Thursday.

In KKR’s three matches against Rajasthan in the 2018 edition, Karthik managed scores of 52, 42 and 41. The KKR skipper clearly relishes playing against the Royals and they could be just the opponents he needs to reignite his and the franchise’s IPL 2019 campaign.

Plus, Karthik will also want to shut up the critics who have questioned his selection over Rishabh Pant in India’s 2019 World Cup squad.

CAPTAIN: Andre Russell

VICE CAPTAIN: Steve Smith

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