Ideally, the Kolkata Knight Riders versus Rajasthan Royals match, to be played at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Monday, should have been seen as a clash of two very good spin attacks. But that perhaps will not be the right prism to look through because two key spinners from either side — Knights’ Varun Chakravarthy and Ravichandran Ashwin of the Royals — have not been able to weave their spin web so far in IPL 2022.
Though Sunil Narine has been bowling extraordinarily well — he has the best economy rate (5.00) so far in this edition — Chakravarthy being off-colour has taken some bite out of the Knights’ attack. From six matches, Chakravarthy has only four wickets at an economy of 8.30.
Ashwin has done worse in terms of wickets — the senior India spinner has only one scalp to show from his five outings. He, however, has a better economy rate — 7.15 — than Chakravarthy. Like the Knights’ Narine, Royals also have one spinner doing very well. Leggie Yuzvendra Chahal among the top wicket-takers of the tournament with 12 victims from five games.
The Knights, one assumes, will have a tough time containing Royals’ powerful batting line-up. Jos Buttler has been in sensational form, while captain Sanju Samson hasn’t been too far behind in playing impact-making knocks. They also have Shimron Hetmyer’s power in the middle-order.
Much for the Knight will depend on Narine and senior pacer Umesh Yadav’s performance with the ball, while they will also hope Pat Cummins to be more effective with the ball.
With the bat too, the Knights have a few concerns. Their opening hasn’t really clicked so far. Aaron Finch was tried in the last game but he failed. Also, if Sam Billings comes back into the side, Finch may have to sit out after playing just one game.
Both the teams are coming off defeats in their respective last games, but it is Shreyas Iyer, the Knights skipper, who will have more worries going into the game.