Rajasthan Royals will look to sustain the momentum against Kolkata Knight Riders in another must-win IPL game here on Sunday.
Besides a victory in their last league game, the inaugural edition winners will also need other results to go their way if they are to make the playoffs of the lucrative event, in its 13th edition now.
The best-case scenario for RR would be Kings XI Punjab losing their last match and Sunrisers Hyderabad winning no more than one in their last two outings.
In that case, RR will go through with 14 points, without net run rate coming into play.
However, RR's first task is to do what is within its control -- win the match against the Knight Riders and then hope for the best. Given the tight situation, the bigger the margin of win, the better it will be for the Steve Smith-led side.
The Royals can certainly look forward to their batting at the Dubai International Stadium. Their talismanic England all-rounder Ben Stokes has just won a Man-of-the-Match award, having made a breezy half century after picking up two wickets, in the team's win over Kings XI Punjab on Friday.
The 2019 World Cup final hero getting his mojo back, at such a crucial juncture of the tournament, is great news for the Royals. And, needless to say, a bad one for KKR as the leading all-rounder can singlehandedly influence the outcome of a game.
While they have as many points as RR and KXIP, KKR's road to the playoffs looks the toughest, thanks to their abysmal net run rate. Their only chance of qualification is if they beat Royals and finish on 14 points, with none of the other contenders reaching that tally. That seems improbable, the last two successive losses badly hurting their prospects.
Nevertheless, the likes of Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, captain Eoin Morgan in batting, and Varun Chakravarthy, Pat Cummins and Kamlesh Nagarkoti with ball would like to give it their all.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Rinku Singh, Eoin Morgan(C), Dinesh Karthik(Wk), Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Lockie Ferguson, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi, Andre Russell, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Ali Khan, Tom Banton, Manimaran Siddharth, Chris Green, Tim Seifert, Nikhil Naik, Siddhesh Lad, Sandeep Warrier
Rajasthan Royals: Robin Uthappa, Ben Stokes, Sanju Samson(Wk), Steven Smith(C), Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Kartik Tyagi, David Miller, Manan Vohra, Ankit Rajpoot, Jaydev Unadkat, Aniruddha Joshi, Tom Curran, Andrew Tye, Shashank Singh, Mahipal Lomror, Oshane Thomas, Mayank Markande, Anuj Rawat, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Akash Singh
Starting XI Prediction:
Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan (C), Dinesh Karthik (Wk), Pat Cummins, Rinku Singh, Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy
Rajasthan Royals: Robin Uthappa, Ben Stokes, Steven Smith (C), Sanju Samson (Wk), Jos Buttler, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Varun Aaron, Kartik Tyagi
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rajasthan Royals Dream11 Picks:
Nitish Rana, Ben Stokes, Steven Smith (C), Sanju Samson (Wk), Jos Buttler, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Varun Aaron, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi, Kartik Tyagi