Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders will be looking to build on their winning momentum when these two teams meet on 18th April at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium. Both these have currently 4 points on the table, after two wins from their first couple of matches. Following the ban on Steve Smith, new captain Ajinkya Rahane’s tenure started off with a big defeat against SRH but the team returned to the winning way in their next match against Delhi Daredevils. Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, sans Gautam Gambhir started the tournament with an impressive win against RCB before suffering a last over defeat against Chennai Super Kings in their next match.
When comparing the performances of both the teams, Rajasthan Royals definitely need their star players to get going, especially the most expensive signing of IPL 2018 Ben Stokes. The big English all-rounder has just scored 21 runs in the first 2 matches and will definitely be under pressure to score some runs and help his team secure another 2 points on the table. The biggest concern for Kolkata Knight Riders going into this match against RR will be the form of one or two key players, on whose shoulders a lot of responsibility lies. Chris Lynn, who was signed on for INR 9.6 crore by KKR in the auction has just scored 27 runs in the tournament till now, something that he will look to turn around in the next few matches. The team has done well in the first 2 matches but the defeat against Chennai Super Kings would have knocked the stuffing out of Dinesh Karthik’s men.
However, before the big match, we try and form a combined playing 11 featuring players from Kolkata Knight Riders squad and Rajasthan Royals squad. We have kept the recent form and experience in mind and done our best to bring out a Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders combined 11(RR vs KKR Combined XI).
Rajasthan Royals vs Kolkata Knight Riders combined 11, RR vs KKR Combined 11
Sunil Narine (KKR Team 2018)
The Windies national hasn’t been playing international cricket for some time now but over the past year has turned into one of the best T20 players in the world, not because of just his bowling but also because of his explosive batting at the top of the order. The 29-year-old scored a brilliant 19 ball fifty in the first match of the season and has now turned into a prized wicket for the opposition.
Ajinkya Rahane (RR Team 2018)
Following the ban on Steve Smith, many thought that the sudden thrusting of captaincy on Ajinkya Rahane might affect his personal performance. However, former RPS batsman has started the 2018 season looking in very good touch, having scored 58 runs so far. Rahane will be key batsman for RR this season now that Steve Smith isn’t there in the middle-order to steady ship.
Robin Uthappa (KKR Team 2018)
Having played over 150 IPL matches till now, Robin Uthappa is a veteran of the tournament and was in superb form against Chennai Super Kings last week, as he scored 29 runs including 3 sixes and 2 fours. Uthappa is one of the most consistent performers in the league and it’s quite surprising that he hasn’t managed to find a place in the Indian team over the past 2 years.
Sanju Samson (RR Team 2018)
In both the matches this season, Sanju Samson has played a very spirited knock to steer Rajasthan Royals innings to some sort of respectability. The 23-year-old is a very talented young player who has played quite a few match-winning knocks for his team over the years. He will be playing in that crucial number 4 spot for RR this season and it is important that his confidence is high in order to help RR this season.
Ben Stokes (RR Team 2018)
The most expensive player from the IPL 2018 auction, Ben Stokes has struggled hugely to find his touch this season and has just scored 27 runs till now. It’s not his recent form that brings him into this combined XI but his reputation. The 2017 IPL player of the season is too good to not come good for his side. But if RR are going to have any hopes of qualifying for the playoffs, they will need their star player to come good sooner rather than later.
Dinesh Karthik (KKR Team 2018)
The Kolkata Knight Riders captain has been in fine form not only while leading the side but also with the bat. The wicket-keeper batsman played a captains knock in the first match against RCB guiding his team to a well-deserved victory. Along with the wicket-keeping role in this team, Dinesh Karthik will also be the skipper in this combined 11.
Andre Russell (KKR team 2018)
Russel played the knock of the tournament against CSK, smashing 11 sixes and only 1 four on his way to 88 runs in just 36 deliveries. Russel has been one of the key players for KKR over the past few seasons and it wasn’t shocking to see the franchise retaining the Windies international. Andre Russel will be playing a key part for KKR this season.
Kuldeep Yadav (KKR Team 2018)
Kuldeep Yadav has been in superb form for the Indian national team over the past 12 months and it’s his performance that has managed to keep the likes of Ravi Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja out of the team. He will be looking to form a steady partnership with Sunil Narine and hopefully help the team lift their 3rd title this season.
Jaydev Unadkat (RR Team 2018)
The most expensive Indian player in the IPL 2018 auction, Jaydev Unadkat was the second highest wicket-taker last season with 24 scalps but has only managed to pick up 2 wickets in the first 2 matches. He will be leading the RR bowling contingent this season along with the likes of Jofra Archer and Ben Laughlin supporting him.