Match Preview – KKR vs LSG 28th Match, IPL

Match details

Kolkata Knight Riders (2nd; W3 L1) vs Lucknow Super Giants (4th; W3 L2)
Kolkata, 3.30pm IST (10am GMT)

Big picture – KKR’s home run

Which IPL team has their headquarters only six kilometres from Eden Gardens? If you’re thinking Kolkata Knight Riders, that’s wrong.

That honour belongs to Lucknow Super Giants, whose owners are based in Kolkata. They have a majority stake in another local team with a strong fan base – Mohun Bagan – and the last time they played at Eden Gardens, LSG turned out sporting that football team’s iconic maroon, leaving local KKR fans split over who to root for.

In that sense, Kolkata is LSG’s home away from home, and they have enjoyed a 3-0 streak against KKR. Their last two victories, by two runs and one run, cemented this fixture as a rivalry worth earmarking for the future. Even now it takes special prominence when you factor in the presence of Gautam Gambhir – LSG’s mentor in 2022 and 2023 – returning to KKR ahead of this season.

Off-field developments aside, LSG are in a good space with their six points in five games. Despite losing to Delhi Capitals on Friday, they are still in the top four on the points table and would be pleased with the coolness shown by Ayush Badoni and Arshad Khan to drag the side from an insipid 94 for 7 to a final score of 167. Their only real concern is Devdutt Padikkal’s form; he has scored only 25 runs in five games.

KKR had their first defeat of the season in their previous game, against Chennai Super Kings in Chennai. But like LSG, KKR are also in a comfortable position, just two points behind table-toppers Rajasthan Royals and with a game in hand. In the first leg of the schedule, they had three away games and won two of those. The quirk of scheduling in an election year now sees them based at home for their next five fixtures, which means, if they can exert dominance at home the way CSK, Mumbai Indians or Gujarat Titans do, they could have one foot in the playoffs by the end of it.

Form guide

Kolkata Knight Riders: LWWW (IPL 2024; most recent matches first)
Lucknow Super Giants: LWWWL

Team news and Impact Player strategy

Kolkata Knight Riders

Vice-captain Nitish Rana (hand injury) and seamer Harshit Rana (shoulder injury) were spotted in training and could return. Nitish would likely replace Ramandeep Singh.

Suyash Sharma is the likely impact player, but they may use left-arm spinner Anukul Roy instead if KKR need runs from a No. 9.

Likely XII: 1 Phil Salt (wk), 2 Sunil Narine, 3 Angkrish Raghuvanshi, 4 Venkatesh Iyer, 5 Shreyas Iyer (capt), 6 Ramandeep Singh/Nitish Rana, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Rinku Singh, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Vaibhav Arora/Harshit Rana, 11 Varun Chakravarthy, 12 Suyash Sharma

Lucknow Super Giants

Padikkal is close to losing his place and Deepak Hooda is already on the bench due to poor form. That means, one of Arshin Kulkarni, Yudhvir Singh or Prerak Mankad may play if LSG want to keep the same overseas quartet. There are more creative options if LSG drop an overseas batter or Naveen-ul-Haq, like the inclusion of Shamar Joseph to make up for Mayank Yadav’s absence. Both Mayank (hip injury) and Mohsin Khan (shoulder injury) are unavailable.

Spinner M Siddharth is the likeliest impact player in place of Quinton de Kock.

Likely XII: 1 Quinton de Kock, 2 KL Rahul (capt, wk), 3 Devdutt Padikkal/Prerak Mankad, 4 Marcus Stoinis, 5 Nicholas Pooran, 6 Krunal Pandya, 7 Ayush Badoni, 8 Ravi Bishnoi, 9 Arshad Khan, 10 Naveen-ul-Haq, 11 Yash Thakur, 12 M Siddharth

In the spotlight – Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul

Shreyas Iyer has two scores in the 30s but he hasn’t been at his fluent best. He has also been dismissed exclusively by left-arm seamers – Mustafizur Rahman, Khaleel Ahmed and T Natarajan – so Arshad could be an early match-up against him. Shreyas could counterattack by dominating spinners from the other end, but historically, he has struggled to put away Ravi Bishnoi and Krunal Pandya in T20s with strike rates of 117.64 and 90.47 respectively.

Strike rates and KL Rahul share a love-hate relationship but he appears to be changing his powerplay approach. In his latest outing, Rahul made 30 off 14 against Capitals. Never before has he scored as many runs in the powerplay as an LSG player. Will he continue in the same vein?

Stats that matter

  • Mitchell Starc has dismissed Nicholas Pooran twice in four innings. However, Pooran has dominated Andre Russell, hitting him for 105 runs in 69 balls, and Varun Chakravarthy, striking 51 runs in 29 balls.
  • Should KKR bat Russell higher? Since IPL 2018, his entry point has not made much difference to his strike rate. It is 182.2 when entering after the 14th over, and 177.6 when he comes in before the tenth, and 173.3 when he comes in between overs 10 and 14.
  • Bishnoi loves facing KKR. His nine wickets are his highest against any team, and he has a favourable average (19.2) and economy (6.40) too.

Pitch and conditions

With an afternoon start and temperatures expected to cross 35°C at the time of the toss, fielding in the first innings will be excruciating. However, chasing could still be the preference as historical numbers suggest, in addition to the possibility of drizzle in the evening. Expect lots of runs.


“They know me as well (smiles). First of all, everyone knows each other very well. It’s more about how we play for three and a half hours in the field is more important. It is not like I will plan something different for them. Even they know quite a lot about me. I have planned against KKR for the last two seasons so it’s probably even-stevens. It’s the best team that wins not the team that plans best.”
KKR mentor Gautam Gambhir says his past role at LSG does not give KKR any edge

“He [Mayank] is feeling good. He looks good but we do not want to rush him. We need to protect his body. But he’s itching to go. Need to make sure that he is 100% fit before he comes back.”
LSG captain KL Rahul gave an update on his fast bowler after the Capitals game

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx

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