Fourth placed Kolkata Knight Riders will play seventh placed Rajasthan Royals in a must-win IPL 2021 league encounter in Sharjah on Thursday, October 7. All eyes would be on young guns Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shivam Dube and Chetan Sakariya in Match No.54 of IPL 14.
Venkatesh Iyer to score over 19.5 runs @1.87
Venkatesh Iyer has been one of the emerging stars at IPL 2021, and has been one of Kolkata Knight Riders’ premier match-winners with his aggressive batting first up. His 8 against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on a challenging wicket was his first single-digit score on his impressive debut season, which began with scores of 41*, 53, 18, 14 and 67. Going by the current form, the 26-year-old is likely to give KKR another flying start in the power-play, and so, scoring a minimum of 20 runs shouldn’t be a difficult task.
His gentle seam-ups could prove to be handy too, considering the slow nature of the surface, which Jimmy Neesham had cleverly exploited against RR on Tuesday.
Sanju Samson to score a fifty @4.5
Sanju Samson has led Rajasthan Royals’ batting with distinction this season, having aggregated 483 runs at 43.91 from 13 innings, which puts him in top-four of the leading run-scorers’ list. He’s had three low scores of 19, 28 and 3 in his most recent outings, after back-to-back half fifties earlier. The RR skipper would be keen to put up another significant contribution, to help his side end on a high in an otherwise disappointing IPL campaign.
His scores at Sharjah read 54, 74, 85, 5 and 3, which make up for an overall record of 219 runs at 43.80.
Kolkata Knight Riders to win @1.62
The Knight Riders have been one of the most improved teams in IPL 2021 second leg, having won four of their six games, after having lost five out of seven during the first half in India. Their two defeats in UAE have come in thrilling last-over finishes, which reflect that they’ve been a tough opposition to beat.
They missed a playoff spot in IPL 2020 on virtue of an inferior net run-rate, and with a healthy NRR this time around, they are just a win away from confirming a playoff berth. Given the two teams’ recent form, Eoin Morgan’s men are likely to emerge victorious in a must-win game.