After delivering a couple of impressive performances, Steve Smith-led Rajasthan Royals (RR) are set to lock horns with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), with both teams desperate for two points to stay afloat in the playoffs race of IPL 2020.
Royals' biggest strength will be the recent form of their two prolific batsmen-- Ben Stokes and Sanju Samson. The duo put up match-winning performances in RR's two-match winning streak. Aiming to complete a hat-trick of victories, the Rajasthan side can't afford to drop two points in their last league fixture.
Stokes' addition to the squad has certainly helped RR's trail. Labelled as the best modern-day all-rounder, the England international has scored a ton and a half-century in back-to-back matches.
To top it off, he also has made an impact with his bowling and fielding performances. An overall asset for RR, Stokes will be hoping to step up when his team needs him the most. Talking about Samson, he has looked in good touch in his previous two outings.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has so far scored 374 runs in 13 games including three half-centuries. With Smith, Stokes, Samson and Jos Buttler at the top, RR will be eyeing to thrash KKR's bowling unit at Dubai. Jofra Archer, currently sitting with 19 scalps under his belt, will be heading their bowlers' contingent.
Talking about KKR's journey this season, it has been a topsy-turvy ride for the two-time IPL champions. They've struggled to achieve consistency despite changing captaincy midway through the season.
In a do-or-die game, the Eoin Morgan-led side will be relying on the Nitish Rana-Shubman Gill duo to come up with a match-winning performance. Shubman, the top-scorer for KKR this season, has 404 runs so far. Rana also has 352 runs in 13 innings with three 50+ scores this year.
Apart from this pair, all eyes will be on the experienced duo of Morgan and Dinesh Karthik to rise to the occasion. KKR also have the likes of Pat Cummins and Lockie Ferguson who can deliver a match-winning spell.
However, Varun Chakravarthy, with his 'mystery spin', can emerge as their trump card. He has scalped 15 wickets in 12 games including a five-wicket haul against Delhi Capitals (DC). If the leg-spinner gets going, RR will have to settle for a below-par total on the scoreboard.
Dream11 Playing XI: Sanju Samson, Shubman Gill, Ben Stokes, Steve Smith, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Varun Chakravarthy, Pat Cummins, Lockie Ferguson