With RR being unbeatable in the tournament so far having won their first two games and KKR returning to their best with a win against SRH, we are in for a thrilling contest at Dubai international stadium in match 12 of the IPL. This will be the first time when RR play outside Sharjah.
Highest Opening Partnership - Kolkata Knight Riders @2.00
Last three IPL games
RR- 19, 11, 11
KKR- 6, 14, 49
RR- 53, 5
KKR- 0, 91
As good as the Jos Buttler and Steve Smith pairing looks on paper, there's no denying the fact that Buttler is struggling big time with the willow in hand. He carried forward his batting struggles with a score of 4 against KXIP in the last game on a flat Sharjah wicket with short boundaries. In the lead up to the IPL, he had got scores of 8, 3, and 1 against Australia. RR's first wicket-stand averages 13.6 runs per game in the last three IPL games as opposed to KKR's 23 run-tally for opening. Even in the H2H, KKR have an upper hand as last year, they had put up a 91-run-opening wicket stand against RR with Narine scoring 47 runs off just 25 deliveries. The Windies all-rounder averages 20.17 with a strike-rate of 170.42 against the Rajasthan-based franchise and with Shubman Gill in scintillating form as we saw in the last game against SRH, where he played a match-winning hand, they are likley to come good in this encounter. Given the prevalent track record, it looks likely that this market will be favoring Kolkata Knight Riders.
Sanju Samson Total Runs Over 23.5 @1.83
Last three IPL knocks- 85, 74, 5
H2H- 22, 50
Samson vs KKR- 325 runs, Avg: 27.08, SR: 126.46
With an average of 79.50 and a strike-rate of 214.86, Sanju Samson is the fourth leading run-scorer in the tournament. Mind you, his strike-rate of 214.86 will put even the likes of de Villiers (184.21) and KL Rahul (156.33) to shame as they come nowhere near to the Kerala batsman. Undoubtedly, Sanju made use of the shorter boundaries in Sharjah but hitting 16 sixes in just two games is not a joke; he is the man of the season thus far. In the H2H games against the Kolkata-based franchise, Samson has had scores of 22 and 50, which shows that he can do well against them and doesn't have historically any sort of issues when put up versus the Knights. Overall, the wicket-keeper batsman averages 27.08 against DK's men in the IPL and given his exceptional run, it will be a major surprise if he doesn't get a score over 23.
Shubman Gill Total Runs Over 20.5 @1.83
Last three IPL knocks- 70*, 7, 9
H2H- 14, 6
Gill vs RR- 48 runs, Avg: 24.00, SR- 117.07
There is a big difference between Shubman Gill the opener for KKR and the one, who batted in lower-middle-order as the youngster continues to impress with every passing knock. Even in the last game against SRH, he steered his team to an easy win with an unbeaten 70, an innings where he showed a lot of maturity; he is rising up the ranks rather quickly. As an opening batsman, Gill has got four fifties in eight innings at 52.17 in IPL. When it comes to H2H games, only once did he open against RR, so to hold that against him would be unfair, given how much he has evolved as a batsman since last IPL. His overall average against RR is 24, which also suggests that he should get over 20 runs in the game. As we stated above, both Narine and Gill will fancy facing RR.