Kolkata Knight Riders will look to solidify their quest of making the playoffs when they lock horns with Kings XI Punjab on Monday. Both teams are in with a good chance of making the last four. While Kolkata is better placed at No 4, Punjab could pip the Knights if they win tonight at Sharjah. KKR will start favourites against Punjab after getting the better of them in the first leg.

It would be interesting to see if Kolkata make any changes to the winning combination. The franchise has had the slowest run rate in the powerplay overs and keeping that and Karthik’s woeful form in mind, the Knights could opt for a change. KKR could drop ex-captain Karthik – who has got 148 runs off 121 balls – and replace him with explosive opener Tim Seifert – who is also a wicketkeeper.

Which overseas cricketer drops out if Seifert has to be brought in?

If Seifert – who is an overseas player – has to come in the side, then Lockie Ferguson could be rested for the tie. Ferguson has been in top form with the ball.

Seifert can open the batting and is an aggressive batsman. If he opens, Shubman Gill could bat at No 3. If that happens, KKR would have a new opening pair at the top featuring Nitish Rana and Tim Seifert. Made to open in the last game against the Capitals, Rana hit a fluent 81 off 52 balls. In fact, Narine who made a comeback to the side after his bowling action was cleared, got a promotion in the batting order and he made the most of it. The mystery spinner smashed a breathtaking 64 off 32 balls. He along with Rana added 115 runs and helped KKR post a daunting total.

KKR Likely 11: Tim Seifert, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan, Shubman Gill, Pat Cummins, Kuldeep Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna