While KKR seems to have more chances of making it to the playoffs with 12 points after 11 games, KXIP are racing against time with 5 wins after same number of games. That said, KXIP are looking more sorted and it will take some effort from the Knights to stop the red-hot run of Rahul's men.
KXIP winning the game @1.99
Kings XI Punjab have made a return from almost a dead end in the tournament and how. After seven games, they had won just a game and were most probably out with teams like RCB, MI and DC lined up to clash with them next. In what has been an incredible turnaround, the Kings have won four straight games and have leapfrogged from the bottom position to the fifth spot. They have won two close games, something they had failed to do miserably in first half and beaten top three sides of the tourney- RCB, MI and DC. They have momentum on their side and with Chris Jordan coming good last game, and Arshdeep Singh already firing alongside M Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi, also the experience of Shami, adds further strength. With Mayank's likely return in the game, their batting should also get a boost. For KKR, who have won two games of their last five, it would be extremely difficult to overcome KXIP, a team on a red-hot juggernaut.
567 runs, five fifties, one century, orange cap, KXIP skipper, KL Rahul, has been the pillar of his side's batting, more often than not in IPL 2020. The stylish batsman has exhibited top-notch consistency and takes time, putting price on his wicket before accelerating in the end. Rahul has performed brilliantly against Kolkata Knight Riders and has got four fifties in eight innings against them averaging 38.43 with an exceptional strike-rate of 152.84. In fact, only against DC and RCB does Rahul strike at a better rate, which makes him all the more dangerous in this encounter in Sharjah. Rahul really likes batting at the venue too as his record suggests with two fifties in four outings here at an average of 60.67. Given the do-or-die nature of the remaining games for Punjab, captain Rahul would leave no stone unturned to score big against the Knights.
KKR top bowler- Varun Chakravarthy @4.6
Undoubtedly, chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav hasn't performed well this season but still for Varun Chakravarthy to emerge as KKR's top spinner, it is a well-earned achievement. In lead up to the big game against Delhi Capitals, the mystery spinner was bowling economically but not returning with many wickets. But when put up against the giants Delhi, he became the first bowler to scalp a five-wicket haul in this edition of IPL. Not only he finished with 5/20 but took the prized scalps of Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis and Axar Patel to hand over his side an easy win. No KKR bowler has taken more wickets than him this season, so far. The Tamil-Nadu spinner has also entered the list of top 10 leading wicket-takers with 12 wickets against his name in 10 games at a miserly economy of 7.05. He can prove to very effective against middle-order of KXIP, especially against the likes of Pooran and Maxwell.