Shikhar Dhawan of the Punjab Kings won the toss and decided to bat first at Eden Gardens. After a strong start, Kolkata Knight Riders, under the leadership of Nitish Rana, have been inconsistent. With eight points from ten games, including four victories and six losses, they are presently ranked eighth out of ten teams in the standings. PBKS, who have experienced a similar run of luck, sit seventh in the rankings with 10 points after 10 games, including five victories and five losses. In the first match of the season between the two teams , PBKS prevailed by seven runs. Both teams will be hoping to win this game in order to restart their respective seasons.
The exclusion of Rabada has raised eyebrows as he is one of the best fast bowlers in world cricket right now.
Why is Rabada not playing today?
Kagiso Rabada has fired in this IPL. He is looking low on confidence and has not bowled well. The Punjab team looked to replace him with Short who was in sparkling form in the BBL last year. Once Bhanuka Rajapaksa was fit, he has replaced Short in today’s game. Also with Nathan Ellis bowling better than Rabada, the South African fast bowler had to make way.
What did the captains say at the toss?
Nitish Rana: The wicket looks to be on the drier side. We are going with the same team. We wanted to bat first so that our spinners can come more into play later in the game. (Regarding whether the boundaries are short for left-handers) Even For right-handers, it is short (chuckles).
Shikhar Dhawan: We gonna bat first. The wicket looks quite dry, we would like to put a good total and defend it. That’s a good thing that we are scoring 200 every game. One change, Bhanuka comes in place of Short. Seems like it will stop a bit and come.
Kolkata Knight Riders (Playing XI): Rahmanullah Gurbaz(w), Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana(c), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Vaibhav Arora, Harshit Rana, Suyash Sharma, Varun Chakaravarthy
Punjab Kings (Playing XI): Prabhsimran Singh, Shikhar Dhawan(c), Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma(w), Sam Curran, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Rishi Dhawan, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh
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