IPL 2021 preview: Knight Riders favourite against fragile Royals

IPL 2021: Despite losing to CSK by 18 runs this week, KKR found a whole lot of positives to boost their skills ahead of the clash against Royals on Saturday.

Pat Cummins's heroics with the bat couldn't take KKR past the finish line against Chennai Super Kings.   -  BCCI/IPL

Rajasthan Royals’ fragile and inconsistent outing in the Indian Premier League 2021 makes Kolkata Knight Riders the favourite for Saturday’s clash at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.

Both the sides are looking to revive their campaign but the Knights, now sixth in the points table, are a little ahead in terms of planning and execution. They almost chased down 221 against Chennai Super Kings even after being five down for 31 inside the Powerplay at the same venue.

The Royals slipped to the eighth position after it failed to defend 177 against Royal Challengers Bangalore, losing by 10 wickets.

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The slow strip in Chennai had curbed the big shots resulting in low-scoring games. The Mumbai pitch offered a welcome change with 296 runs coming in boundaries in the last encounter.

If the Knights want to attack upfront and throughout the death, Lockie Ferguson should be on pace duty with Pat Cummins as the conditions suit the New Zealander.

After Cummins’ 34-ball 66 with the bat, it remains to be seen if Sunil Narine makes way for Ferguson. In that case, Harbhajan Singh may join back Varun Chakravarthy in the spin department while Nagarkoti sits out.

 

Royals skipper Sanju Samson has not delivered since the ton in the opener against Punjab Kings. His inconsistency remains a talking point.

Even big-ticket all-rounder Chris Morris could not flex his muscles except for one game against Delhi Capitals where his golf-like swing of the bat took the Royals home. Bought for Rs 16.25 crore, he will be under pressure to deliver.

READ: Andre Russell slams 21-ball half-century vs CSK

Young left-arm pacer Chetan Sakariya impressed with six wickets in four games. The Royals can include right-arm quick Kartik Tyagi in the mix as an experiment.

Andre Russell's 22-ball 54 against the Super Kings has sent a strong signal to the bowlers. Samson will need a plan to restrict the Caribbean star. In 23 games, the Knights have won 12 while the Royals have tasted victory on 10 occasions.