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IPL 2022, KKR vs PBKS: Kolkata Knight Riders look to take the fight to high-flying Punjab Kings | Cricket News – Times of India

It’s not often that a team emerges out of a defeat with head held high. Kolkata Knight Riders would be more proud than disappointed after their three-wicket loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday night.
Despite putting up a sub-par total (128), the Knight Riders bowlers did well to make a match out it against a side which got over 200 runs in their previous match. No wonder skipper Shreyas Iyer was all praise for his team. “I am really proud of the way we played this game and took it till the last over,” he said.

KKR will need to show this character against an upbeat Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Friday. Although their bowlers have struck to the task, KKR’s batting unit should learn a thing or two from Punjab, whose top five fired in unison to chase down a 200-plus total with an over to spare in their opening game against the RCB.
Kagiso Rabada joining the side after completing his three-day quarantine can provide solution to Punjab’s bowling woes after they gave away 135 runs in the last 10 overs against RCB.

The South African pacer will definitely boost the Mayank Agarwal-led side, which will look to make early inroads into the KKR innings like RCB did on Wednesday. However, the side will also expect better show from pacers Sandeep Sharma, Arshdeep Singh and Odean Smith. In the spin department, Rahul Chahar, who looked impressive against RCB, will seek meaningful support from Harpreet Brar and Liam Livingstone.

The Wankhede track is not expected to see very high scores and hence the KKR batters should show more patience in the middle. Most of them gave away their wickets against RCB after coming under pressure to accelerate. Coach Brendon McCullum will definitely advise them to focus on rotating the strike and building up partnerships rather than banking solely on boundaries.
The team will hope Andre Russell, who hurt his shoulder during fielding, will be up and running. The big West Indian showed glimpses of his destructive power during the 18-ball 25 that included three huge sixes.
In the bowling, KKR might mull using Venkatesh Iyer more. They will also look to their new ball pair of Tim Southee and Umesh Yadav to strike early.

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