Kolkata Knight Riders host Kings XI Punjab on the ninth day of Indian Premier League 2017. The Punjab side has been the surprise package so far in IPL 2017. Not many considered them a favourite in the pre-tournament analysis. However, they have emerged as one of the early trump cards of this year. They have won both their matches – that too with considerable ease. Can they continue the momentum against Knight Riders? KKR have had a mixed bag so far, winning one and losing the other. Our betting analysis suggests an advantage for KKR. Here’s why.
Preview – Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR suffered a big blow even before the start of the tournament when ICC banned Andre Russell for doping. They have another blow during the second week of the tournament. Chris Lynn, who looked in sensational touch, is out of the tournament with a shoulder injury. That leaves a big hole in KKR’s top order. Perhaps it is time they blooded Rowman Powell, a young West Indian player who has been compared to Russell frequently. The team has received a boost as well, as Shakib Al Hasan is available for selection. He was in cracking form in Bangladesh’s just concluded Sri Lankan tour.
The Kolkata have the spinners to excel in the slow and low pitch at Eden Gardens: Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, and Yusuf Pathan, apart from Shakib. However, their problem will be batting. They desperately need Gautham Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey and Suryakumar Yadav to come good in batting. If their batting clicks, punting on them would be a good investment.
Preview – Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI are riding on their pace-bowling might. They have found an excellent formula: bowl first and unleash their battery of young pacers on the opposition. Sandeep Sharma, Varun Aaron, Mohit Sharma and T. Natarajan have done a tremendous job. Then chase down the modest total with Hashim Amla and Glen Maxwell leading from the front. The strategy worked perfectly well in Indore, as the pitch offered early assistance to fast bowlers.
They would need a re-think of the strategy for this match, as the pitch in Kolkata will be more spin-friendly. They would need to enhance their spin stock. This match will also test the depth in their batting as well.
Prediction for cricket betting: Notwithstanding the recent form, Kolkata Knight Riders are clear-cut favourite to win this match. It’s their home turf, and they have an assortment of spinners to win the match.