Both KKR and RR look to seal a spot with a win in IPL 2015 Playoff © IANS
Both KKR and RR look to seal a spot with a win in IPL 2015 Playoff © IANS

Defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), take on former champions, Rajasthan Royals (RR) in Match 54 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday. This is the final league game of the tournament for both KKR and RR, as they look to seal a spot with a win in IPL 2015 Playoff. IPL 2015 Points Table & Team Standings

Rajasthan are in a desperate position, having lost their advantage and form after registering five wins on a trot at the start of the tournament. With only one more game left in their IPL 2015 campaign, Rajasthan may still not be able to qualify for the next round even after they win it, because there are as many as six teams in contention and all of them have possibilities to make it to the next round. READ: Orange cap holder in IPL 2015

And in case if the Rajasthan Royals lose the match against Kolkata Knight Riders, they will have to depend on the results of the other teams such as the Mumbai Indians (MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

Kolkata Knight Riders will look to get back to their winning ways as they need one more win to cement a place in the next round. KKR have not been very convincing, and the Royals will be hoping that they are able to get the better of their opponents. READ: Purple cap holder in IPL 2015

Considering the performance for KKR in the previous game, they were handed a five-run loss by another former champions, Mumbai Indians at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. KKR, who chose to bowl first had most of the MI innings under their favour until the final eight overs changed the whole complexion of their innings. Hardik Pandya’s unbeaten 61, and alongside an unbeaten 33 from Kieron Pollard helped MI put up a challenging total of 171.

KKR failed to chase it down despite a good start from the openers, Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir, scoring 25 and 38, respectively. Yusuf Pathan too put up a solid show, however, his dismissal in the final over turned out to be the turning point of the game. Shakib AL Hasan was the highest wicket-taker for KKR in the game with a figure of two for 22. READ: Most dangerous batsmen in IPL

RR, on the other hand, too had a dreadful evening last Sunday, as they lost their 13th  game of the season to IPL 2015 Points Table’s toppers, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, by 12 runs.

RR, who bowled first, helped CSK put up a moderate total of 157 as Chris Morris claimed three wickets for just 19 in his four overs. However, their batting faded, unlike their bowling attack, as most of the batsmen failed to contribute big and kept losing wickets at regular intervals that made the chase difficult and finished on 145 for nine.

With the game being held at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai, which is usually considered to be a batting track, both the teams are most likely to go in with a strong batting line-up. IPL 2015 most catches by fielders: List of best fielders in IPL 8

Although RR have a strong batting line in this case as compared to KKR, the defending champions could still have the upper hand on this track with quite a few big hitters in their squad, in the form of Uthappa, Gambhir, Manish Pandey, Pathan, Andre Russell, Ryan ten Doeschate and Shakib, while RR have Ajinkya Rahane, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, Deepak Hooda, Sanju Samson, James Faulkner and few more that could well make the game a high scoring encounter.

The bowling attack might not be as strong for both the teams, however, in this case, KKR clearly have the upper hand with their two star spinners in the form of Sunil Narine and Brad Hogg, along with Shakib as well.

Thus, considering the team composition, KKR might have a change in the squad, as they could bring in Hogg in place of Shakib, who could well generate turn on any track, being a chinaman. It won’t be surprising either if they move in with the same squad that lost to MI.

RR, on the other hand, could well make a couple of changes, as they could bring in Abhishek Nair for Karun Nair and Dhawal Kulkarni for Ankit Sharma.

The last time these two teams had clashed in the IPL, the match was washed out due to rains in Kolkata. However, an exciting contest would be expected as both the teams will be desperate to get that one win, which might propel them to the next round.

 

Squads:

Rajasthan Royals (RR): Shane Watson (c), Abhishek Nayar, Ajinkya Rahane, Ankit Nagendra Sharma, Ben Cutting, Deepak Hooda, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dishant Yagnik, James Faulkner, Kane Richardson, Karun Nair, Pravin Tambe, Rahul Tewatia, Rajat Bhatia, Sanju Samson (wk), Steven Smith, Stuart Binny, Tim Southee, Vikramjeet Malik, Chris Morris, Juan Theron, Barinder Singh Saran, Dinesh Salunkhe, Sagar Trivedi, Pardeep Sahu.

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Gautam Gambhir (c), Robin Uthappa (wk), Manish Pandey, Suryakumar Yadav, Andre Russell, Yusuf Pathan, Johan Botha, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Brad Hogg, Umesh Yadav, Morne Morkel, Pat Cummins, Azhar Mahmood, Ryan ten Doeschate, Kuldeep Yadav, KC Cariappa, Shakib Al Hasan, Sumit Narwal, Aditya Garhwal, Veer Pratap Singh, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Rawal.

Time: 20:00 IST | 02:30 GMT

(Ayush Gupta is a reporter at CricketCountry. A passionate supporter of Manchester United, he idolises Roger Federer and is also a World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) maniac. He can be followed on Twitter @Ayush24x7)