Rajasthan Royals vs. Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL: Date, Time, TV Info

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Rajasthan Royals vs. Kolkata Knight Riders, IPL: Date, Time, TV Info
Mahesh Kumar A/Associated Press

While Punjab and Chennai have been the two stand-out teams in IPL 7 so far, a win here for third-placed Rajasthan would put them level on points with the league leaders. 

And with Kolkata trying to pull themselves out of the mid-table pack, the second meeting of the season and indeed a week between these two sides should be an intriguing contest. Let's take a closer look at how the sides shape up.

 

Venue: Ahmedabad, India

Date: Monday, May 5, 2014

Start time: 4:00 p.m. local time, 11:30 p.m. GMT

Weather: It's a scorcher! Cloudless skies with a maximum temperature of 108 Fahrenheit are forecasted by bbc.co.uk/weather.

TV Info: ITV4 (U.K.)

 

Overview 

Kolkata's opening day win over Mumbai seems a long time ago right now with three consecutive losses knocking the Knight Riders' confidence. The main reason for the defeats has been an inability to put decent totals on the board with just two scores over 150 being registered in their six games.

Of the batsmen, Jacques Kallis, Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey have each registered a half-century but lacked consistency while skipper Gautam Gambhir, who started the tournament with three consecutive ducks, has made a minimal contribution so far.

Things are brighter with the ball, however, especially when it's turning. Sunil Narine has led the way (see below) with nine wickets and, alongside Shakib Al Hasan and Piyush Chawla, has formed a potentially lethal spin trio.

But, apart from their victory over the Indians, KKR have yet to fully fire and put in the sort of performance they are surely capable of.

Their opposition, the Rajasthan Royals, should consider renaming themselves the Rajasthan Australians with Shane Watson, Steven Smith and James Faulkner providing the nucleus of their side.

And the Down Under recruitment policy is obviously working as consecutive wins over Bangalore, Kolkata and Delhi have taken their overall season record to 4-2 and lifted them to third in the league.

Ashes heroes aside, it is the Royals' unheralded bowling attack that has underpinned their success with 42-year-old spinner Pravin Tambe in particular proving a revelation.

Combined with the difficult-to-get-away Stuart Binny and a couple of quality contributions from Ajinkya Rahane with the bat, Rajasthan are a difficult side to get on top of. 

 

Last Meeting and Head-to-Head Record

Few cricket fans will remember the last clash between these teams...oh hang on...it was last Tuesday. Indeed, the sides met in Abu Dhabi very recently and produced a thrilling tie which the Royals went on to win in a Super Over courtesy of possessing a higher boundary count.

Rajasthan also hold the advantage in their head-to-head count, winning eight of their 14 IPL meetings.

 

IPL Form (Latest Left to Right)

Rajasthan: WWWLLWW

Kolkata: LLLWLW

 

Squads

Rajasthan

Shane Watson (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Brad Hodge, Sanju Samson, Stuart Binny, Ankush Bains, James Faulkner, Pravin Tambe, Kevon Cooper, Unmukt Chand, Steven Smith, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda, Iqbal Abdullah, Karun Nair, Vikramjeet Malik, Abhishek Nayar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Kane Richardson, Dishant Yagnik (wk), Tim Southee, Rahul Tewatia, Ankit Sharma, Amit Mishra.

 

Kolkata

Gautam Gambhir (c), Jacques Kallis, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Manvinder Bisla (wk), Ryan ten Doeschate, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Kuldeep Yadav, Pat Cummins, Debabrata Das, Piyush Chawla, Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav, Sayan Mondal, R Vinay Kumar, Andre Russell, Veer Pratap Singh.

 

Players to Watch

Rajasthan

Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

Steven Smith is a polarising figure but he provides an element of X-factor to the Royals team. Although the Aussie has only chalked up 63 runs across three innings so far, they've come at a strike rate of over 140.00 and it feels like a matter of time before the 24-year-old makes a key contribution. And don't forget his incredible fielding skills.

 

Kolkata

Rajanish Kakade/Associated Press

Sunil Narine has once again proved himself as the world's pre-eminent T20 spinner and has been exemplary so far in IPL 7. With nine wickets, four more than any other Knight Rider, the West Indian has also returned a miserly economy rate of just 5.54. His best performance was against Mumbai where he snared four victims for just 20 runs. 

Who will win?

Submit Vote vote to see results

 

Prediction

Rajasthan just seem to be riding the crest of a wave right now and it would be no surprise if they overcame Kolkata here. As in every format of cricket, momentum is invaluable and the Royals currently have it.

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