Kolkata Knight Riders will look to solve their top-order conundrum as they lock horns with high-flying Lucknow Super Giants at the MCA Stadium in Pune on Saturday. In their previous game, Kolkata dished out a clinical show when they restricted Rajasthan Royals to a modest 152, and Nitish Rana and Rinku Singh then produced match-winning knocks with the willow. With 31 runs needed in 18 balls both the batter batted brilliantly and stuck a much-needed 34 run partnership. The Indian pair will hope for a similar performance against Lucknow. (IPL 2022 Full Coverage)
But the biggest concern for Kolkata has been their top-order’s form. The two-time IPL champions have tried different combinations but nothing has clicked so far in the tournament. Aaron Finch and Baba Indrajith were asked to open the innings against Rajasthan, while Venkatesh Iyer was dropped from the eleven after a batting slump.
KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer has scored 324 runs from 10 matches but hasn’t been able to finish the games. His team is currently languishing in the bottom half of the points table with just four wins in 10 games.
On the bowling front, Kolkata have Umesh Yadav, who has been brilliant in the powerplay. He returned 1/24 from his four-over spell against Rajasthan, while Tim Southee picked up two wickets. They also have Sunil Narine as the lone enforcer in the spin department. The West Indian conceded just 19 from his four in the previous game. KKR may also continue with spinner Anukul Roy but it remains to be seen whether Venkatesh returns to the final eleven.
Ahead of Match 53 of IPL 2022 at the MCA Stadium, we take a look at the probable playing XI for Kolkata Knight Riders…
Openers: Aaron Finch, Baba Indrajith
Top and middle-order: Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rinku Singh,
Power hitter: Andre Russell
Spin option: Sunil Narine, Anukul Roy
Pacers: Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Shivam Mavi
KKR Predicted XI vs LSG: Aaron Finch, Sunil Narine, Shreyas Iyer (c), Baba Indrajith (wk), Nitish Rana, Anukul Roy, Andre Russell, Rinku Singh, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Shivam Mavi
Changes in the XI: It’s perhaps too easy to start chopping and changing after one game. KKR can present Aaron Finch and Baba Indrajith with another chance at the top, prolonging Venkatesh Iyer and Ajinkya Rahane’s wait. The onus will be on Finch and Indrajith to provide the side with an aggressive start.