After losing a close game to Mumbai Indians on Sunday, Kolkata Knight Riders will look to get back to winning ways at home against Kings XI Punjab. The away side are now the only team left in the competition who have a 100% win record after Hyderabad's defeat to Mumbai last night.
Kolkata Knight Riders have been bolstered by the return of Umesh Yadav from injury and the Indian pacer is expected to find a place in the playing 11 against the Kings. KKR, however, will be without the services of Chris Lynn for the game after the opener injured his shoulder against Mumbai in the last game. KKR coach, Jacques Kallis, provided an updated on the Australian's injury stating that he could still play a part in the Kolkata team's season.
Being the only unbeaten team in the tournament so far, Punjab look like they are up for the challenge this time around with exceptional performances in every department. Glenn Maxwell is hitting the ball like its 2014 while Sandeep Sharma and Axar Patel are not allowing any easy runs for the batsmen.
Head to Head
In 12 encounters so far, the Kolkata Knight Riders have got the better of Punjab on 8 occasions. However, this is not one of the Punjab teams from the past and it might not be as easy as the numbers suggest for Kolkata tonight.
Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa struck a formidable opening partnership for the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens last year, taking their side to respectable 164/3 in 20 overs. Andre Russell then rocked the Kings XI batting taking 4/20 in his four overs to restrict the Punjab innings to 157, ensuring a seven-run Knight Riders win.
Predicted Starting XI
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Shakib Al-Hasan, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Woakes, Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav, Trent Bout, Kuldeep Yadav.
Manish Pandey (KKR) - Having scored 81 off just 47 balls in the last game against Mumbai Indians, Pandey has certainly found his form during the initial stages of IPL 2017. Moreover, his ability to pace his innings according to a given situation makes him an absolute asset for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Glenn Maxwell (KXIP) - The Kings XI Punjab skipper has led from the front so far and has also scored 87 runs in the first to games. More importantly, he is yet to be dismissed in the tournament so far, and once again he will be looking shoulder the run-scoring responsibility for his side.
Time: 8 PM
Venue: Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
TV Listings: Sony Six HD, Sony Six, Set Max, Sony ESPN