Kings XI Punjab vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Abu Dhabi

Pro Tip: Keep faith in both top orders; expect them to come good.

Our XI: KL Rahul (wk), Nicholas Pooran, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi (vice-captain), Eoin Morgan, Mayank Agarwal (capt), Andre Russell, Shivam Mavi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ravi Bishnoi, Pat Cummins

Substitutes: Mohammed Shami, Nitish Rana, Sunil Narine, Chris Gayle

NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.

Player availability: All players are available for selection.

Captain: Mayank Agarwal
After a fantastic start to the IPL, he has had a few games without big knocks. He has scored 114 runs in the powerplay in the tournament so far, with a boundary percent of 59.64, third-best among all batsmen with 100 or more runs in that phase.

Vice-captain: Rahul Tripathi
Tripathi has shown great promise in the two games he has featured in for the Knight Riders so far this season. He played the finisher's role in the first game, scoring 36, and was then promoted to his preferred opening slot, where he struck a match-winning 81. Since 2017 in T20s, Tripathi has scored 1027 runs as an opener averaging 31.12 and striking at 134.77.

Hot Picks

Andre Russell: By his own standards, he has had a quiet IPL so far with the bat. Against a team that has a reputation for leaking runs at the death though, Russell should fancy his chances of scoring big. Plus, he has contributed frequently with the ball, picking up five wickets - all of them at the death, a period in which he's taken a wicket every eight balls in the tournament so far.

Eoin Morgan: Morgan has mostly batted at No. 5 or 6 in IPL 2020, with a view to finishing the innings for the Knight Riders. He has scored 143 runs, the second-most for the franchise so far in the tournament, at a strike rate of 143. His scoring rate at the death, though, is even better: 248.

Nicholas Pooran: Pooran had been playing excellent cameos until the last game where he smashed a 37-ball 77 against the Sunrisers. He must be really high on confidence and we back him to keep going. His SR in IPL 2020 is now 178.18, 3rd best among all batsmen who have scored 150 or more runs.

Differential Picks

Shivam Mavi: Mavi has been great up front for the Knight Riders, picking up wickets in the powerplay, where he has bowled most of his overs this season, with an impressive economy rate of 7.66 to go with three wickets.

Ravi Bishnoi: After a bit of a lean patch, Bishnoi came back with a terrific performance against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. He picked up 3 for 29, including the wickets of openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow. He has been exceptional in the middle overs for the Kings XI this season, picking up six wickets at an economy of 7.73.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Chris Gayle is likely to replace Maxwell in the next game. If he does, slot him right in instead of Shivam Mavi.
  • Rahul, again, is a great captaincy choice but due to the dip in his strike rate, we have not made him our captain. If the Kings XI bat first, you could consider making him your captain, though. All his 50-plus scores in the tournament have come batting first.
  • Nicholas Pooran can also be your captaincy pick, especially if the Kings XI bat second. Choose from among Rahul, Agarwal, and Pooran for the job - after the toss.