IPL Schedule 2017: Odds, Predictions, Live-Stream Info for T20 Cricket Fixtures

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistApril 21, 2017

Kolkata Knight Riders captain Gautam Gambhir plays a shot during the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad at The Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium in Kolkata on May 22, 2016. ----IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE----- / GETTYOUT / AFP / Dibyangshu SARKAR        (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)
DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/Getty Images

The Kolkata Knight Riders will be out to continue their impressive start to the 2017 Indian Premier League when they host the Gujarat Lions on Friday.

With four wins from their first five matches in the competition, Gautam Gambhir's men have been one of the standout outfits in this year's tournament. The form of the skipper and particularly Manish Pandey, have been key to their excellent results to this point.

The Lions, meanwhile, need a big win to kick-start their season, as they head into this one rooted to the bottom of the standings.

Here's a look at the odds for Friday's showdown, the upcoming schedule and all the information you need on where to catch the action.

Kolkata vs. Gujarat: IPL Odds
Match Odds
Kolkata - 8/11Gujarat - 11/10
Top Run-Scorer
Brendon McCullum (GL) - 11/2Robin Uthappa (KKR) - 13/2
Gautam Gambhir (KKR) - 5/1Jason Roy (GL) - 7/1
Suresh Raina (GL) - 13/2Manish Pandey (KKR) - 7/1
Top Wicket-Taker
Sunil Narine (KKR) - 5/1Kuldeep Yadav (KKR) - 6/1
Andrew Tye (GL) - 5/1Umesh Yadav (KKR) - 6/1
Dwayne Bravo (GL) - 6/1Ravindra Jadeja (GL) - 13/2
OddsChecker
IPL 2017: Schedule
DateTime (BST/Local)Fixture
Saturday, April 2211:30 a.m./4 p.m.Rising Pune Supergiant vs. Sunrisers Hyderabad
Saturday, April 223:30 p.m./8 p.m.Mumbai Indians vs. Delhi Daredevils
Sunday, April 2311:30 a.m./4 p.m.Gujarat Lions vs. Kings XI Punjab
Sunday, April 233:30 p.m./8 p.m.Kolkata Knight Riders vs. Royal Challengers Bangalore
Monday, April 243:30 p.m./8 p.m.Mumbai Indians vs. Rising Pune Supergiant
IPLT20.com

Figures courtesy of OddsChecker and are accurate as of 4:30 p.m. (BST) on Thursday.

Live Stream: The 2017 IPL can be streamed via Sky Go (U.K.) and Willow (U.S.)

 

Kolkata vs. Gujarat Preview

With Gambhir leading the charge, the Knight Riders have become one of the most dependable teams in the IPL and the early signs suggest they're a team ready to fight for another title, having won this event in 2012 and 2014.

An emphatic 10-wicket win over the Lions in their opening fixture set the tone for this Kolkata side. Granted, they came up just short against the Mumbai Indians, but there's been a composure about this group whether they're chasing or defending a total.

Pandey has been excellent this year.
Pandey has been excellent this year.DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/Getty Images

With the bat, Pandey has been key to their fortunes, hammering some important runs in the middle order. Per cricket writer Freddie Wilde, he's been a big asset for Kolkata:

Although the absence of Chris Lynn at the top of the order is a massive blow for the Knight Riders, Gambhir is very experienced in this format of the game.

The 35-year-old is so adept at assessing the situation of a game when opening. At times Gambhir can be watchful, while he's also capable of injecting some acceleration into his play when the situation demands. The captain is among the most reliable players in the competition.

Still, while he rarely looks flustered, he admitted he was a little nervous as his side got over the line with the penultimate ball against Delhi Daredevils last time out:

While Kolkata continue to flourish, Gujarat have lacked a spark in the early matches of the tournament.

Indeed, the 10-wicket loss in their first match sapped the confidence from this group of players. The quality is there for this side to bounce back, though, especially in their batting lineup, which is almost a who's who of big hitters.

McCullum is the man the Lions will be looking to.
McCullum is the man the Lions will be looking to.DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/Getty Images

Brendon McCullum is one, and although the Lions suffered a 21-run defeat in their last match at the hands of Royal Challengers Bangalore, he struck a blockbuster 72 from 44 balls. Per the Cricket Professor, when the veteran is allowed to get forward, he's so dangerous:

If Gujarat are going to find form they will need their bowlers to improve. Last time out experienced men like Ravindra Jadeja and Dhawal Kulkarni were hammered all over the park by the Challengers batsmen. They need to be tighter and more inventive against the Knight Riders.

Even so, there feels like a sizeable gulf between these two teams at the moment. Kolkata are confident, while the Lions look dependent on one innings or one spell of genius from one of their star men. Subsequently, it's difficult to make them favourites on the road in what should be an intriguing match.

Prediction: Kolkata Win