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Match – Kolkata Knight Riders vs. Punjab Kings
Date – April 1, 2022 – 7:30 PM IST
Venue – Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Kolkata Knight Riders, the two-time IPL champions (2012, 2014), will face off against Punjab Kings (formerly known as Kings XI Punjab) in the 8th match of Tata IPL 2022. KKR commenced the much-awaited cricket league by winning the first match against Chennai Super Kings, a team that has clinched the prestigious IPL trophy 4 times. On the other hand, Punjab Kings have had a successful start to the season as they beat RCB in the third match of this season by chasing down a total of 205 runs. New skipper Shreyas Iyer will lead KKR, whereas PBKS will be under the leadership of Mayank Agarwal.
KKR vs. PKBS will be a thrilling affair because both teams have had a successful start to the tournament. If you wish to know all about today’s IPL match prediction, keep on reading to know about all that could happen on the field today. Ahead of the enticing match, here is a detailed look at several aspects of the match, including the pitch and weather report, predicted playing XI, head-to-head statistics of both teams, players to look out for, and more.
Weather Report & Pitch Conditions
The weather on 1st April will likely be hot and humid, with the temperature around 33 degrees celsius.
Traditionally, the Wankhede provides advantages to the batting side. The dew significantly helps teams chase down challenging totals. Two of the five matches played in this year’s IPL at the stadium have favored the side batting second. Therefore, the team winning the toss will probably choose to bowl first.
Predicted Playing XI
Kolkata Knight Riders – Venkatesh Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer, Sam Billings, Sheldon Jackson, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy
Punjab Kings – Mayank Agarwal, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingstone, Raj Bawa, Shahrukh Khan, Odean Smith, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Sandeep Sharma, Rahul Chahar.
Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings have played against each other 29 times, out of which KKR has won 19 times, and PBKs have won only 10 times. The highest runs scored by KKR and PBKS are 245 and 214, respectively. The lowest score by KKR and PBKS is 109 and 119, respectively. Kolkata has won 6 times by batting first and 13 times by batting second, whereas Punjab Kings have won 5 times batting both first and second.
Retained Players and New Additions:
According to Sportskeeda, Punjab Kings is a team to look out for in this year’s IPL as they have one of the best lineups. The side of PBKS has retained only two players – Mayank Agarwal (14 crores) and Arshdeep Singh (4 crores). However, the team has brought numerous hard-hitters like Shikhar Dhawan (8.25 crores) and Jonny Bairstow (6.75 crores), as well as top-notch bowlers like Kagiso Rabada (9.25 crores) and Nathan Ellis (75 lakhs).
KKR, on the other hand, has retained a total of four players, and the list includes the potent all-rounder Andre Russell and the legendary spinner Sunil Narine for 12 and 6 crores, respectively. Moreover, the side has also raked in quite a few gems. KKR now has powerful hitters like Shreyas Iyer and Ajinkya Rahane and promising all-rounders like Pat Cummins and Nitish Rana.
Players to Look Out For – Top Fantasy Picks:
- Shreyas Iyer – Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR’s headhunters knew precisely what they were doing when they acquired the young Shreyas Iyer by paying a whopping sum of 12.25 crores. He is definitely a player to watch, especially after his successful run in the international series against Sri Lanka. The versatile batsman has played both as an opener and a middle-order batsman. It will be interesting to see the range he brings to the game, especially now that he is the team’s skipper.
- Venkatesh Iyer – Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR’s Venkatesh Iyer will be a force to reckon with in this year’s IPL. The all-rounder is a powerhouse of talent that has just received a stage to showcase his true potential. His exceptional performance in the 2021 IPL earned him a rightful seat in India’s cricket team. He played only 10 matches in the last season but managed to wow the audience by scoring 370 runs.
- Kagiso Rabada – Punjab Kings
If there is any contender from Punjab Kings who has a sure-shot chance of winning the purple cap again, it is Kagiso Rabada. PKBS roped in the South-African pacer for a massive 9.25 crores to add more power to their bowling lineup. In the four seasons of IPL he has played (2017, 2019, 2020, and 2021), the pacer has clinched a total of 76 wickets. He achieved this feat by playing only 50 matches. His records boast of a spectacular economy of 8.21 runs per over.
- Shikhar Dhawan – Punjab Kings
One of the greatest strengths of PBKS is their destructive opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan. After an aggressive three-way bidding contest between Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings, and Delhi Capitals, Punjab Kings finally acquired Shikhar Dhawan for 8.25 crores. The international sensation has been a top performer ever since the first season of IPL (2008). As of yet, Dhawan has scored 5947 runs with a respectable average of 33.22.
It will be very interesting to see the two teams collide against each other at the Wankhede Stadium on 1st April, primarily because both lineups include several renowned names and fresh new talent.