Read: Head-to-head between KKR and RPS ahead of Match 41 on May 3
An ever-strong Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) take on a rejuvenated Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) side at the MCA Stadium in Pune in match 30, with the prospect of going top of the IPL 2017 points table. With Sunrisers Hyderabad dropping a point because of the washout in Bangalore, against Royal Challengers, Rising Pune can move up to third with a win tonight against Knight Riders. This is the first meeting between these two sides in the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League.
Pune Supergiant are on a three-match winning streak which began with a 27-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore a little more than a week ago. Their batting line-up has tended to struggle when been asked to bat first. And even during their current winning streak, Pune have posted under-par 161 and 160 in two matches and then successfully defended them through some disciplined bowling from their bowlers. But with a good batting pitch potentially available in Pune, the hosts’ batting line-up must do better.
Knight Riders are a good all-round side. While their batting line-up hasn’t been at its best over the last couple of matches, the bowling attack has come to the team’s rescue with top performances from almost all the bowlers. On what should be a good batting pitch, KKR’s batsmen will look to get back amongst the runs.
Form guide: RPS vs KKR
Pune: WWWLL (from left to right, most recent result first; current position on the points table: 4th)
Kolkata: WLWWW (current position on the points table: 2nd)
RPS vs KKR Head-to-head
Kolkata hold a 2-0 head-to-head record against Rising Pune, the new franchise who they did the double on last season.
Match 30: RPS vs KKR Playing XI
Steve Smith isn’t a captain who makes changes in personnel unless they are absolutely necessary. With his team in red-hot form, the Australian captain does not have to make any changes to the playing XI who he fielded and won with against Mumbai Indians. However, Pune can look to bring in Deepak Chahar for Shardul Thakur, who has proven expensive with the ball in the last couple of matches.
Otherwise, Pune Supergiant look a settled side who, if their batsmen start scoring runs consistently, might end up being the surprise entrant in the IPL 2017 playoffs.
RPS’s probable playing XI vs KKR: 1. Steve Smith, 2. Ajinkya Rahane, 3. Rahul Tripathi, 4. MS Dhoni, 5. Ben Stokes, 6. Manoj Tiwary, 7. Daniel Christian, 8. Shardul Thakur/Deepak Chahar, 9. Jaydev Unadkat, 10. Imran Tahir, and 11. Washington Sundar
Actual playing XI for Pune: 1. Steve Smith, 2. Ajinkya Rahane, 3. Rahul Tripathi, 4. MS Dhoni, 5. Faf du Plessis, 6. Manoj Tiwary, 7. Daniel Christian, 8. Shardul Thakur, 9. Jaydev Unadkat, 10. Imran Tahir, and 11. Washington Sundar
For Knight Riders, one of their bowling heroes from two nights ago, Nathan Coulter-Nile, hasn’t travelled with the squad to Pune. So, Coulter-Nile’s place is up for grabs, with Trent Boult in line for a potential return to the side after sitting out the last three matches. Shakib Al Hasan is also an option that Kolkata might look at, as the Australian pacer’s replacement.
The rest of the XI who were part of a historic day in the IPL on Sunday, are expected to retain their places.
Therefore, KKR’s probable XI vs RPS: 1. Gautam Gambhir, 2. Sunil Narine, 3. Robin Uthappa, 4. Manish Pandey, 5. Yusuf Pathan, 6. Suryakumar Yadav, 7. Chris Woakes, 8. Umesh Yadav, 9. Kuldeep Yadav, 10. Colin de Grandhomme, and 11. Trent Boult
Actual playing XI for KKR: 1. Gautam Gambhir, 2. Sunil Narine, 3. Robin Uthappa, 4. Manish Pandey, 5. Yusuf Pathan, 6. Piyush Chawla, 7. Chris Woakes, 8. Umesh Yadav, 9. Kuldeep Yadav, 10. Colin de Grandhomme, and 11. Darren Bravo
RPS vs KKR Match Prediction
With these two sides playing as well as they are, I predict a close contest which should eventually have the more resourceful and better team (Kolkata Knight Riders) come up trumps.
Who’s your money on for match 30 of IPL 2017?