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Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 28 April 2014 - 10:43pm IST

Preview: Match 19 – KKR v RR

Confident Royals to battle it out with Knights in Abu Dhabi

What

The Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals will vie for precious two points when they go head to head in Match 19 of Pepsi IPL 2014.

Kolkata Knight Riders faltered in the chase of the 133-run target set by Kings XI Punjab in their previous outing, while the Rajasthan Royals will be bubbling with confidence after they decimated the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their last match.

On the eve of the match, the KKR assistant coach Vijay Dahiya told the media that he expected the match to be a run feast and also indicated that KKR would shape their line-up accordingly.

When

Tuesday, April 29, 2014, 8 pm IST

Where

Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi

The Protagonists

For KKR to compete, their batting line-up needs to fare better than they have done in recent times. And the onus lies on the two men right at the top of the order – Jacques Kallis and Manish Pandey. On the bowling front, look no further than the mystery spinner Sunil Narine, whose 16 overs have fetched nine wickets and have cost the team only 4.93 runs per over.

The one common factor in RR’s two wins this season is the bowler’s setting the match up by restricting or dismissing the opposition. In a format that is heavily loaded in favour of the batsmen, RR will know they need their batsmen to step up their game so they can start competing with the heavyweights. Hence, the two experienced batsmen in their line-up – Ajinkya Rahane and skipper Shane Watson – need to come good, and fire consistently thereafter.

Notes from Previous match

Kolkata Knight Riders v Kings XI Punjab: KKR will be worried about the indifferent form of some of their key batsmen. Skipper Gautam Gambhir cannot seem to buy a run these days and that will be their foremost concern. However, given how seriously he takes his cricket and how hard he works on his game, he will need to remain confident and believe that runs are just round the corner. Yusuf Pathan – who has managed just 18 runs in four innings at a strike-rate of 94.73 – too remains a worry for the team. Manish Pandey and Jacques Kallis are KKR’s top two run-getters; yet they – along with their skipper – managed only 18 runs in the previous match against KXIP. Positives from that match would be the performance of the two spinners – Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla – whose combined figures read 8-0-43-6.

Rajasthan Royals v Royal Challengers Bangalore: RR would have taken a lot of positives – especially on the bowling front – from their previous match. It is not often that teams get polished off for 70, and hence, mentor Rahul Dravid would have given the bowlers a pat on the back. But there should be a degree of concern about the batsmen not polishing off the required runs. There were a few jitters in the RR run-chase when four batsmen were dismissed – even without the pressure of a lofty chase.

Previous Meetings

The head-to-head record between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals stands at six matches apiece. In the four matches between the two teams in the last couple of seasons, both teams won their respective home matches.

Trivia

The Kolkata Knight Riders have conceded the fewest sixes in Pepsi IPL 2014 – 11.

Kolkata Knight Riders are one of two teams – the other being Mumbai Indians – whose wicketkeeper hasn’t pouched a catch in Pepsi IPL 2014. Robin Uthappa has managed to effect three stumpings though.

Four Rajasthan Royals batsmen have been run-out – the most for any team alongside Mumbai Indians – in Pepsi IPL 2014.

What Next

KKR will feature in the opening fixture of Pepsi IPL’s India leg when they take on the Chennai Super Kings in Ranchi on May 2. Rajasthan Royals, meanwhile, travel to the nation’s capital to take on the Delhi Daredevils on May 3.

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