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IPL 2023: KKR to face RR in their next clash© BCCI

Kolkata Knight Riders will be taking on Rajasthan Royals in their next IPL 2023 match on Thursday, at the Eden Gardens.  The Nitish Rana-led team is currently standing at the fifth place on the points table with a total of five wins out of 11 matches. KKR will be coming to this clash after clinching a victory by 5 wickets in a thrilling encounter against Punjab Kings. Their star pacer Umesh Yadav, who sustained a minor hamstring injury, has benched for the past few games and is expected to make his way back into the Playing XI against RR.

As things stand, four teams including KKR and Rajasthan Royals, are locked on 10 points in a mid-table traffic rush for the playoffs. RR may be ahead on net run rate (NRR) but the equation could change quickly if KKR continue their winning run, as a victory for either side will take them into the top-four.

In terms of key battles and team strategies, KKR would once again rely on Varun Chakravarthy, who has been the central character in both their previous wins.

Having defended nine runs in the last over against SRH, Chakravarthy’s 3/26 made all the difference against Punjab Kings.

At a time their seasoned slow bowler Sunil Narine is finding it difficult to get wickets, Chakravarthy has emerged as KKR’s spin spearhead with 17 wickets so far this season. While KKR’s think-tank refuses to give up on Narine who has just one wicket in the last eight matches, it’s Chakravarthy’s four overs which would again be crucial.

KKR’s Predicted XI against RR: Rahmanullah Gurbaz(w), Jason Roy, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana(c), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Vaibhav Arora/Umesh Yadav, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakaravarthy.

(With PTI Inputs)

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