Match Preview – KKR vs Super Giants, Indian Premier League 2022, 66th Match

Match Preview - KKR vs Super Giants, Indian Premier League 2022, 66th Match
Kolkata Knight Riders and their opening partnership don’t really see eye to eye. They’ve already used five combinations this season, and finally managed to get their first 50-plus opening stand through Venkatesh Iyer and Ajinkya Rahane two games ago. But with Rahane ruled out of the competition, they will be forced to tweak their opening pairing yet again.
Lucknow Super Giants had their opening combination pretty much decided on the day of the auction. Their average of 36.13 for the first wicket is the second-best in IPL 2022. But their batting problems start after the pair of Quinton de Kock and KL Rahul is separated.

From Nos. 3 to 6, Super Giants’ batters have averaged 21.88, which is the worst of any team this season. They have attempted to use the flexibility offered by their plethora of allrounders to maximise match-ups, trying as many as nine batters – including K Gowtham, Jason Holder and Karan Sharma – at Nos. 3 and 4 alone. But it hasn’t always worked, and the middle order has turned into an area of weakness.

Despite having 16 points from 13 games, Super Giants are yet to nail a playoffs spot – they are in a comfortable positions thanks to a net run-rate of 0.262 – but they’ll want to fix their batting issues to ensure they seal their spot, having fallen well short in run chases in their last two matches.

Super Giants will go through if they win Wednesday’s game at the DY Patil Stadium. A win for Knight Riders, however, will add considerable spice to the final set of league-stage contests.

A hamstring injury brought the curtains down on Rahane’s journey this season. Knight Riders could go back to B Indrajith at the top of the order alongside Venkatesh, which would be their sixth opening combination of the season.

Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 B Indrajith, 2 Venkatesh Iyer, 3 Shreyas Iyer (capt), 4 Nitish Rana, 5 Sam Billings (wk), 6 Rinku Singh, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Sunil Narine, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Varun Chakravarthy

Lucknow Super Giants: 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 KL Rahul (capt), 3 Deepak Hooda, 4 Krunal Pandya, 5 Marcus Stoinis, 6 Ayush Badoni, 7 Jason Holder, 8 Avesh Khan, 9 Mohsin Khan, 10 Ravi Bishnoi, 11 Dushmantha Chameera

Knight Riders have lost 38 wickets to short or short-of-good-length balls from fast bowlers, the most by any side in IPL 2022. Super Giants successfully exploited this weakness the last time these teams met, and could look to emulate the same plans this time. Of all batters who have faced 50 short or short-of-good-length balls from fast bowlers this season, nine have scored less than seven runs an over against those lengths, and three of them – Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer and Nitish Rana – play for Knight Riders.

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