IPL Trader’s Tips: Will Andre Russell fire Kolkata to another win?


Our cricket trader previews Friday and Saturday’s IPL action

Chennai Super Kings have opened up a four-point lead at the top of the Indian Premier League table, but Kolkata Knight Riders will be looking to close that to two this afternoon.

They’ll feel like anything is possible with Andre Russell in his current form. And they’ll be out for revenge against Delhi Capitals, who beat them in a Super Over last month.

Before it gets underway this afternoon, our cricket expert Andrew Harriott has all the lowdown…

Coral News: Capitals beat Knight Riders in a Super Over thriller when these sides last met. How do you see this one going?

Andrew Harriott: Delhi should have won the first game comfortably, but their choke in the chase was a precursor for an even worse capitulation against Kings XI Punjab in their next match, when they lost from an even stronger position trading 1/250 in running.

The key players for Kolkata will be Kuldeep Yadav and Andre Russell, who is in the form of his life with the bat. Delhi could do with runs from their senior batsman Shikhar Dhawan and continued excellence from Kagiso Rabada with the ball.

CN: After three games on the road, the Knight Riders are back at Eden Gardens for this one. They had to deal with a rough pitch in Chennai, how glad will they be to back at home?

Kolkata have a strong home record winning 63% of matches since start of 2015. Eden Gardens can give assistance to both seam and spin, but so far this year it has looked one of the best batting tracks, so Kolkata will indeed be keen to return to a better surface where their batsmen can continue their tournament leading Six smashing form.

CN: We could see Kagiso Rabada up against Andre Russell today – the IPL’s leading wicket-tacker and the most prolific six-hitter in 2019. Who do you think has the edge there?

Dre Russ has been unstoppable so far, and this matchup will indeed be key. Rabada has the better international record and is without doubt the classier player, but I couldn’t bet against Russell in this form.

The ball seems to fly into the stands whether he middles it or not. He’s 10/11 to hit Over 1.5 Sixes. Delhi will surely have some plans in place, it will be interesting to see what they are. Short-pitch bowling perhaps, but that is always high risk. It will be entertaining whatever happens.

CN: Harry Gurney has impressed in his first two IPL appearances. After winning the T10, BBL and PSL over winter, can he now help the Knight Riders to win a first IPL title since 2014?

Harry Gurney has quietly been the most consistent English death bowler for a long time, and a recall to the England T20 set-up seems likely given his outstanding performance in the last 12 months.

Who knows, if he continues to impress in the IPL a call up to England’s ODI side for the World Cup is not impossible, although his fielding is not the best. I was surprised he was not in the starting XI from the start, but I expect him to help Kolkata for the rest of the tournament.

CN: Prithvi Shaw smashed 99 runs last time he faced today’s opponents. How good do you think the Capitals youngster could become?

Prithvi Shaw’s rise has been incredibly impressive. He has succeeded at each step up of his career so far, with a Test century already as a teenager. With the India batting line up far from settled going into the World Cup he will be keen to keep impressing in the IPL. If he outscores his teammate Shikhar Dhawan throughout the tournament, he could put his senior colleague under pressure.

CN: Moving on to this weekend’s action, what are you looking forward to in Saturday’s games?

Saturday’s action sees Mumbai Indians host Rajasthan Royals. Mumbai look like they have found a settled XI and hope to have Rohit Sharma back after he was rested as a precaution in their last match.

The middle order is firing this year, unlike last year, and with an excellent bowling attack they look very strong. I expect them to beat a struggling Rajasthan side (4/7), with the worst bowling attack in the IPL.

Saturday’s other game sees fellow strugglers Royal Challengers Bangalore travel to Mohali to play Kings XI. Like Mumbai, Kings XI are growing into the tournament, and I am a big fan of Lokesh Rahul. Sam Curran is also once again proving the doubters wrong. He just seems to be a born winner. Ravi Ashwin is also bowling well with the white ball again. Another home win for me here at 4/5.

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