The 18th match of the 2021 IPL will see the Rajasthan Royals (RR) take on the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Both of these teams have only won one match from their opening four, so they will both be very desperate to get a win so that they can stay in contention for the play-offs.
So, what is our IPL prediction of who go on to pick up a vital win? Read on and all will be revealed.
IPL Team Preview: Rajasthan Royals
The Rajasthan Royals played the Royal Challengers Bangalore in their previous game and to say that they got a bit of a battering would be a huge understatement. They were completely dominated by RCB, who won the match by ten wickets thanks to a sublime century by Devdutt Padikkal. He was supported by a very good 72 from Virat Kohli.
The Rajasthan Royals lost the toss and were put into bat by Kohli, so they would have wanted to get off to a flyer to put pressure back on the RCB, but instead they found themselves 43/4 and with it all to do. A 66-run partnership between Shivam Dube and Riyan Parag gave them some hope of getting the runs that they needed, but they lost 3 wickets in 3 balls and finished on 177 runs. This would be a very good score in Chennai, but it did not look like it would be enough at the Wankhede Stadium, and so it proved.
They would have hoped that their bowlers could have helped them out, but they were dispatched for 9 sixes and 17 fours. Chris Morris was the most expensive player in the tournament, but he has definitely not been living up to his price tag. He bowled 3 overs for 38 runs and picked up no wickets, with many of his deliveries being pretty average to say the least. Maybe the pressure of being the most expensive player is getting to him.
Their batting line up has not been firing and neither has their bowling attack, so it is little wonder why they have only managed to pick up one win so far.
IPL Team Preview: Kolkata Knight Riders
The KKR also lost their last match, but they made more of a fist of it than the RR did. The KKR won the toss and decided to field first, hoping that they would be able to restrict the Chennai Super Kings to a score below 180. However, Faf du Plessis (95 from 60) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (64 from 42) helped the CSK get to 220/3, a very competitive score at the Wankhede Stadium.
It was a night to forget in the bowling department for the likes of Pat Cummins, Andre Russel, Prasidh Krishna, and Kamlesh Nagarkoti as they were carted all over the place.
With such an imposing total on the board, the KKR needed to get off to a flyer, but their top order has struggled to score runs this season, and the same happened again. The top five batsmen that includes the likes of Eoin Morgan and Shubman Gill managed to score a paltry 28 runs between them. They were 31/5 and the game looked long gone.
However, perhaps spurred on by their poor bowling performances, Russel scored 54 from 22 balls while Cummins hit 66 not out from 34 balls. Dinesh Karthik chipped in with 40 runs from 24 balls, and they managed to make somewhat of a game out of it. If their top order does not find some form soon, their hopes of reaching the play-offs will already be over.
The captain that wins the toss will likely choose to field first because it has seemed quite hard to defend a score at the Wankhede. This is due to the fact that there has been a bit of dew forming, meaning that the bowlers can find it tricky to grip the ball properly. The team that backs second should have quite a big advantage.
Pitch and Conditions
The pitch at the Wankhede has been much easier to bat on than the one at Chennai. If a team gets off to a flier and does not lose early wickets, then they can push hard through the rest of the innings and take their opposition to the cleaners. A score of 170 is considered par at the Wankhede, but we have seen quite a few scores of 200+ recently.
Our Rajasthan Royals v Kolkata Knight Riders Betting Tips
Both of these teams are in very bad form at the moment, and they are quite evenly matched, so it is hard to choose a winner out of the two. However, we like the look of the KKR batting lineup more than that of the RR, and we are going out on a limb here and backing the likes of Gill and Morgan to come good. Like we said though, we reckon it will be close and would not be surprised if the winning team wins by 10 runs or less.
Our betting tip: Kolkata Knight Riders to win the 18th match of the IPL 2021.
|Prediction||Kolkata Knight Riders|
|If you bet ₹ 2,500||4,675|
|Date and hour of game||24th April 14.00 IST|