The last outing had Kolkata survived a crash with the help of Andre Russell’s swift performance in the last four overs against Hyderabad. But this time around Kolkata will have to deal with Chris Gayle’s ‘no mercy’ campaign. Also, the team will have to go without Sunil Narine following an injury. Although Nitish Rana is all fit dawn the bowler cap, Narine’s absence is equivalent to losing some crucial wickets. It is likely to have England cricketer Joe Denly to be the replacement for Sunil Narine. The current line-up is a clear indication that it would be a miracle to survive Punjab’s intricate gameplay. But their last outing has proved why Kolkata is one of the early favorites and why they are capable of chasing down any score. Kolkata is definitely boosted with confidence and they have a record of being consistent in delivering some stellar performances.
Probable Line-ups: Nitish Rana, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Shubman Gill, Joe Denly, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson.
Punjab started their campaign in a rather controversial manner after Ashwin’s infamously ‘mankaded’ Jos Buttler of Rajasthan. Punjab is all boosted from their previous controversial victory and especially with David Miller joining the bandwagon. He missed the first game due to the international commitment back home in the T20I series against Sri Lanka and should walk back into the playing XI. It is likely that David Miller might replace Nicholas Pooran in the middle-order. Punjab is currently lacking strength in the batting order and Nicholas Pooran took crucial wickets but couldn’t do much with the bat. KL Rahul will be again dawning the wicket-keeper’s cap and he’s definitely crisp at it. And not to forget Punjab’s Stormbreaker Chris Gayle.
Probable Line-ups: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul (wk), Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mohammed Shami, Ankit Rajpoot.
PLAYERZPOT PLAYING XI:
Both teams made a good start but Kolkata’s performance has been strategically enhanced marinated with lots of efforts and similar performance can be expected in this fixture as well.
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Time: 8:00 pm local time.