Rising Pune Supergiant (Playing XI): Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith(c), Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni(w), Manoj Tiwary, Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Imran Tahir, Jaydev Unadkat
Kolkata Knight Riders (Playing XI): Gautam Gambhir(c), Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa(w), Darren Bravo, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav
Smith: Would have liked to bowl first, but need to make a good score and defend it. Three back-to-back matches here, need to make the most of home conditions. Unfortunately, Ben Stokes has a sore shoulder and he’s sitting out. He’s replaced by Faf du Plessis. Rahul Tripathi can bowl a bit, might need to make use of him tonight.
Gambhir: We will bowl first. The wicket will not change that much, will look to restrict them to a small score and chase it down. It was a professional performance from us last match, but that doesn’t happen all too often. Two changes for us, Darren Bravo and Piyush Chawla are in, Coulter-Nile is rested and Surya Kumar Yadav misses out.
Kolkata Knight Riders have won the toss and have opted to field
While Gambhir’s astute captaincy has led the way for Kolkata, Steven Smith has found the magic tonic for the Pune based outfit. Looking down and out after the initial stages of the tournament, they have made a roaring comeback – notching up three wins in a row. With three straight back-to-back home games coming up, they can make use of these matches to take a firm step towards qualification.
Gautam Gambhir spoke about his angerness after the first half of their match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and how well did his team react to the situation. Not only did they defend a meager 132, but they did it in some style – rolling over a batting outfit that included Gayle, Kohli and AB to just 49 all-out, the lowest score in the history of the tournament. The destroyer in chief was Nathan Coulter-Nile – who was not only rewarded with the Man of the Match trophy, but was also rested for today’s game – as part of the team’s workload policy. The Australia tearaway quickie will probably be replaced by either Trent Boult or Shakib Al Hasan – in what should be the only change for KKR.
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