This season IPL has been the most exciting of all the seasons. With only 5 more matches remaining, none of the teams have qualified till now. Out of 8 teams 6 teams are still alive in the race to qualifiers.
The next match is between Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders. Both the teams have lost their previous matches and are now desperately looking to win this match. Rajasthan Royals have 14 points out of 13 matches and this is their Do or Die match if they have to qualify for the next round. If Rajasthan Royals lose this match they will be almost out of the tournament. So Royals would like to exploit the home conditions and record a win in order to keep the hopes alive.
On other side Kolkata Knight Riders have 15 points out of 13 matches and they still need to win at least one match. After losing an easy game against Mumbai Indians a couple of days ago, KKR will put all the efforts to gain 2 points and qualify for the next round. Similar to RR this match is Do or Die for KKR too.
Rajasthan Royals started this season on a higher note and won 5 matches on a trot but after then they have been very ordinary on the field. They have managed to win only 1 match in their last 5 matches. While Royals have maintained their good form in batting they have underperformed in bowling department and have lost matches because of the poor bowling. Death bowling has been the biggest problem for RR throughout this season. We have seen poor captaincy from Shane Watson and some bizarre decisions from the think tank. Due to poor captaincy from Shane Watson RR appointed Steven Smith as their captain in their last match against Chennai Super Kings but they could not win that game.
Kolkata Knight Riders have been inconsistent this season and have lost their last match against Mumbai Indians. KKR had a decent chance to win that game chasing down 172 they were 130 for 5 after 16 overs and could have easily won that match. But due to poor batting in the depth KKR lost that match. Now they need to win this crucial match against a relatively weak opposition. KKR will carry the momentum from the last game into this game and Gambhir and company have a perfect chance to seal the Qualifier seat.
While individual players have performed well for RR, they have not been able to strike together. It has cost them dear. While AjinkyaRahane is crucial at the top of the order, Watson has been average with bat this year. Rajasthan is dependent on the likes of Steven Smith, Karun Nair and Sanju Samson in the middle order. Rajasthan has been ordinary with bowl this season but Chris Morris and Praveen tambe will hold the key for RR.
The good news for KKR is that the mystery spinner Sunil Narine is back for them. Andre Russel is the most important key player for KKR and he has done excellent with bat and bowl. While Gambhir and Uthhappa hold the key in batting, MorneMorkel and Shakib al Hassan hold the key in bowling.
While RR has the home advantage and knows the pitch of Brabourne Stadium Mumbai better, KKR has more match winner players on their side. KKR will carry the momentum from their last game against Mumbai in this game. With the return of Sunil Narine KKR have slight better chances than Rajasthan Royals.