RAJ vs KOL MPL Team: All eyes will be on the two youngsters, S Gill and S Samson in the Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders fixture on Wednesday after both of them played stupendous knocks to win the match for their respective franchises in their last game. Their head-to-head record is on an even keel with both teams winning 10 matches each from the 20 encounters, but KKR have a sort of an upper hand with them winning the 4 matches from the last 5 games. This is the first match for both teams at Dubai and how they adapt quickly to the change of conditions will define their fortunes for this match.
Kolkata registered their first victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad with an inspiring knock from S Gill who top-scored with a 62 ball 70 and P Cummins and E Morgan were back to their best after failing in the first match. D Karthik's promotion up the order hasn't worked so far but the team management will stick to it. Kuldeep Yadav's form is also a slight worry but the big boundaries at Dubai might help him.
Rajasthan Royals came into the competition with question marks over their overseas players availability due to quarantine restrictions. But they've performed exceedingly well on the short flat decks in Sharjah posting 216 against CSK and chasing down 223 against KXIP thanks to a never seen before knock from Tewatia. Smith and Samson both have performed well with the bat and their bowling attack somehow managed to best the opponents. The change of scenes to Dubai will be a big factor for RR considering they've to adapt from the shortest dimensions of the competition to the largest boundaries.
Fixture: Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Match 12, IPL 2020
Date & Time: Wednesday, 30th September 2020 at 7:30 pm (IST)
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Venue Stats: The par score at Dubai his IPL has been around the 160 mark, but the last match against MI and RCB produced an absolute run-fest with both teams crossing 200 in their respective innings. In all the five matches played at Dubai so far, the team which has batted first have won the match. Regarding the boundary dimensions, one side of the square boundary measures 82m and the other side measures 68m.
Pitch Report: The same deck that was used for the MI vs RCB match will be used which should push the par score to at least 180. There'll be less seam movement with not much grass left on the turf but should provide enough assistance for spinners especially finger-spinners with the dry surface underneath. Dew will certainly make its presence felt.
Team News: Narine at the top for KKR has lost its niche factor long time ago with opponent teams starting to target him with the short balls and the KKR team management will be tempted to bring in the specialist opener in R Tripathi, but expect them to go unchanged.
Expected Changes: Rajasthan Royals went with a combination of six bowlers against KXIP at Sharjah but they would look at bringing back Miller in for T Curran to provide some batting depth.
Underperformers/Risky picks: R Uthappa endured a bad 2019 season and his new batting role in the middle-order for Rajasthan Royals hasn't helped him either with just 13 runs from two games so far.
Kuldeep Yadav has gone wicketless in both the games so far, while it can be tempting to pick him with the conditions at Dubai it is definitely a risky option. The predicted XIs for the RAJ vs KOL MPL fantasy cricket tips are as follows:
RAJ Playing XI (predicted):
J Buttler (WK)
S Smith (C)
KOL Playing XI (predicted):
D Karthik (C & WK)
J Buttler – The KXIP match didn't go according to his plans with him getting dismissed for a mere 4 runs, but he would love to face the KKR bowling attack which is full of pace and a struggling Kuldeep Yadav. If he can get through the Powerplay expect him to wreak havoc at Dubai in the RAJ vs KOL today match prediction.
S Gill – The talented youngster from Punjab cracked a matured knock of 70 off 62 against Sunrisers Hyderabad batting with cent percent control. Apart from Archer, there aren't many bowlers in RR who can trouble him with his good record against the leg-spinners.
S Samson – He's in terrific form this season with two consecutive man of the match winning knocks against CSK and KXIP. The pace attack of KKR suits his batting style but the only issue for him would be the long boundaries at Dubai.
D Karthik – The KKR captain hasn't had the best of starts this season and would look to contribute against one of his favourite franchises, Rajasthan Royals. He has scored 535 runs at an average of 35.67 against the inaugural IPL champions.
S Gopal – He can be pretty handy with his googlies and the ground dimensions works in his favour. There are a lot of counters for him in the KKR batting unit but can punt on him to pick a couple of wickets.
S Narine – His batting has been found out with teams targeting him with short balls, but his bowling will be effective at this venue since the finger-spinners have traditionally enjoyed more success in Dubai than the leg-spinners.