Two teams with contrasting performances in their previous game will lock horns on Monday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, as Punjab Kings take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2021 VIVO Indian Premier League. KL Rahul’s team brushed aside champions Mumbai Indians in their previous game, while their opponents slumped to a fourth successive defeat on Saturday. 

There will be a venue change for both sides for this game, as the Kings and the Knights will both hope to adjust quickly to conditions in Ahmedabad and get another win under their kitty in this crucial clash on Monday. 

Aamne Saamne

Punjab Kings

Kolkata Knight Riders

9 wins

18 wins

Kolkata have a better head-to-head record against the Punjab Kings, but it is KL Rahul’s team that arrives at this game off the back of some winning momentum. There are problems galore in the Kolkata camp as they struggle to find the right combination, with their seasoned stars like Andre Russell, Sunil Narine and Dinesh Karthik yet to fire this year. Punjab on the other hand seem to have found some balance with Moises Henriques and Fabian Allen slotting well in the middle-order, and will be optimistic about their chances on Monday. 

Batting de Baadshah

KL Rahul

Nitish Rana

201 runs

186 runs

Last season’s Orange Cap winner KL Rahul seems in good stead to retain it this year, as he has already amassed three fifties in five games. The 29-year-old was named man of the match for his unbeaten 60 against Mumbai, and will now be looking to get another big score against Eoin Morgan’s side. 

Nitish Rana started the 2021 IPL season brilliantly, with big fifties against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Mumbai Indians. His scores however have tampered off since then, with his highest since being 22. The southpaw will hope for a change in fortune with a change in venue, as he’d look to give a good to Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday. 

Bowling de Kings

Arshdeep Singh

Andre Russell

6 wickets

7 wickets

Arshdeep Singh continues to lead the charts for most wickets for Punjab Kings this season, as he has now slowly become the go to bowler for KL Rahul after Mohammed Shami. The left-arm pacer picked up the wicket of Hardik Pandya in the previous game, and will be looking to add some more memorable names to that list when he plays Kolkata. 

Andre Russell is the leading wicket-taker for Kolkata Knight Riders at the moment, with seven to his name. However, five of those came in the game against Mumbai Indians. The West Indian all-rounder will be looking for some more consistency in the remaining games of IPL 2021, and will be hoping for the likes of Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna and the others to contribute more wickets to his team. 

Mudde di Baat

Punjab defeated champions Mumbai Indians in their last game, and would really look to build on that momentum and string together a series of good performances. KL Rahul seems to have found the right combination for his side, and will be optimistic for all those players to come good once again on Monday. Despite moving cities, Punjab Kings look primed to perform well in this game.

KKR come into this game off the back of four consecutive losses, and run the risk of being too far behind the chasing pack if they lose yet again. Kolkata’s seam battery of Pat Cummins, Prasidh Krishna and Shivam Mavi might enjoy the tracks on offer at Ahmedabad, and that venue change could just be the catalyst for KKR to turn the tide. 

Yaad Rakhiyo

  • Ravi Bishnoi dismissed Eoin Morgan twice last season while conceding just three runs against him. 
  • Chris Gayle has two fifties in his last four innings’ against Kolkata Knight Riders.
  • Chris Gayle is just four fours away from completing 400 boundaries in the IPL.

Probable XI

KL Rahul (c and wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Moises Henriques, Fabian Allen, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh. 

It was a clinical performance with both bat and ball from Punjab Kings in their previous game, and the team management wouldn’t want to waver from that winning combination despite the change in venue. 

NOTE: The aforementioned line-up is an educated guess at best, and the final decision rests with the captain and the team management depending on various external factors.