Kolkata Knight Riders have suffered five defeats on the trot, exposing their over-reliance on Andre Russell, and Dinesh Karthik has copped criticism for not promoting the big-hitting West Indian up the order.
Chosen ahead of the young Rishabh Pant in the World Cup squad in a debatable decision, the Tamil Nadu veteran, who was KKR's leading run-getter last season, is struggling for runs with an average of 16.71 from nine outings.
The frustration in the team management was palpable when Karthik, along with other under-performing India players, including Kuldeep Yadav, were given a couple of days break following their nine-wicket rout of Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last match.
The biggest letdown for the team has been its bowling unit, especially the spinners who have lacked sting at the Eden Gardens, something that was its main strength during the title-winning campaigns in 2012 and 2014.
Clinging to one spot below KKR at seventh in the eight-team standings, Rajasthan Royals' fate too hangs by the thread. They showed urgency with Steve Smith replacing Ajinkya Rahane as the captain ahead of their clash against Mumbai Indians.
The move has clicked and RR were able to bring their campaign back on track beating Mumbai. Rahane, too, roared back to form with an elegant century, albeit in a losing cause, against Delhi Capitals in their last match.
What to expect?
It should again be a flat track with good bounce and pace. However, dew is again expected to be a challenge and team winning the toss may well field first and chase.
Predicted Playing XI:
RR: Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson (WK), Steve Smith (C), Ben Stokes, Liam Livingstone, Stuart Binny, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni