7.25pm RR don’t have any seamer who can hit 140kph. Will KKR push Narine up to the top? It’s the Wankhede after all. No Narine yet. Gill will continue to open with Rana.
Kaks: “Tye should’ve played ahead of Fizz, scoring extra pace of Tye would’ve helped against Dre Russ”
Burns: “Any Cricinfo features on Yashasvi Jaiswal? In the mood to read about him :)” — Here is Saurabh Somani on how Jaiswal beat the odds to turn his dreams into reality
Bharath: “Nice to see 3 youngsters Jaiswal, Parag and Sakariya getting chance in the IPL. I believe atleast 2 of these 3 will play for India in the future.”
Manu Ajmani: “For KKR, I feel Morgan will come back in form anytime now and has the potential to take KKR to the playoffs. They need to work on their top 3. DK has looked good and should be given the opportunity to come one down and Tripathi should be held back to hit a few at the end. Both KKR and Morgan have the ability to win, its just a matter of shot selection and clicking at the right time. Take a page out of Kohli and Gayle’s last innings, take time, get yourself in and explode!” — What? DK at one down? He’s at his best when he comes out and gives it a good whack at the death. He has done well at one down for Tamil Nadu in domestic cricket, but don’t see that working for KKR. It didn’t work for them last year too
RR: Jos Buttler, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (capt&wk), David Miller, Shivam Dube, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Jaydev Unadkat, Chetan Sakariya, Mustafizur Rahman
KKR: Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (capt), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi, Prasidh Krishna
Malli: “Finally Jaiswal getting a nod. However, I would have gone with Lomror given his form in domestic circuit. Jaiswal was more accumulator and he would like to play anchor role”
7pm Rajasthan Royals win the toss and choose to bowl first
Samson: Bowling first as it has helped bowlers at this venue. Have to appreciate the team members and management, they are coping well even after losing key players. We still have a positive atmosphere and trust our players to win matches. Two changes: Unadkat comes back for Gopal and one more, sorry [laughs]…. Jaiswal for Vohra.
Morgan: We’d have liked to bowl first and I think everyone is on the same boat here. This venue seems to suit our game, we made a few mistakes the other night, but we hope to rectify it. Mavi comes in for Nagarkoti. The record here is seam works over spin, but good to have two mystery bowlers in the XI.
6.50pm We also have our Hindi commentary up and running. If you’d like to follow this game in Hindi, Daya Sagar is your man. Toss in 10 minutes.
Mustafa Moudi : “Morgan’s last 6 T20 Scores – 4, 1, 2, 7, 29, 7… 50 Runs at 8.33. This is one of the reason of KKR’s performance this year. Being the Captain he needs to perform himself to make sure others perform too !!”
Sujesh: “Vohra has been given a longgggg rope, it’s time to cut it (literally though, I’m not that cruel) Bring Yashasvi or Anuj Rawat in to partner Jos, May b try Tye?(pun intended) Btw, have anyone of you guys spotted Karthik Tyagi, at least in the training videos? If he is fit, he should b in the playing XI.” — I didn’t spot Tyagi at the warm-ups, but yeah Tye is a decent option. He has reinvented himself into an out-and-out quick. He hit 150kph in the BBL
Garv Asnani: “When will RR find replacements otherwise it will be too late if the replacements come after half- tournament. These could be possible changes: Southee for Archer, Labuschagne for Stokes and Alex Hales for Livingstone.” — Hmm, well, they’ve lined up SA batter Rassie van der Dussen as batting cover. He has never been part of the IPL before, but has had stints in the CPL and GLT20 Canada. Good player of spin
Sam Christy Var: “RR won the inaugural edition of IPL in 2008 when nobody expected them to. They were underdogs. They played like they have nothing to lose. There were robust contribution from all players who played throughout the tournament and not just 2-3 blokes. They should play like that in 2021 too. Like underdogs, without pressure “
RajatMaheshwari: “@Summer Joe, don’t you think this change will decrease their batting depth as in that case Cummins will come at No.7 which is a bit higher for his liking though his last innings had some hitting! This will result into PBKS kind of a batting line-up where they had Jhye at No.7 for the starting couple of games!”
Malli: “Does RR have Lomror? I don’t see any reason to put him out.” — Yes, he was retained by the franchise ahead of this season
Vivaan : “@Rajat Maheshwari, I don’t think shakib should replace Narine, Shakib was better suited at Chennai, where his style of batting suited, but here a Mumbai you need an aggressor which you get in Narine. Plus he is an attacking spinner whereas Shakib is defensive.”
6.40pm Riyan Parag is engaging in some side-arm darts while Narine and Harbhajan are having an intense chat on the other side.
Summer Joe: “Probably a left-field choice but I would like to see Lockie instead of Narine. KKR have always struggled with their death bowling as Cummins is a bowler who has more of an impact at the top usually plus their second Indian fast bowler (Mavi/Nagarkoti) has been the weak link usually. They can get Bhajji to replace Nagarkoti and suddenly the attack looks so well rounded.”
Jagan: “KKR should look to bring in Ben Cutting in place of Narine, and replace Nagarkoti with Bhajji. Cutting opening with Rana with Shubhman as a floater could add much needed experience and fire power at the top order.”
RajatMaheshwari: “Both the teams had a poor last game as both teams had a mini-collapse in their batting! Both teams’ batting looks the stronger department but both the teams are yet to fire together as a batting unit barring a couple of games! Expecting Shakib to come in place of Narine as he adds the batting depth and solidity in the middle order.”
6.30pm Sakariya has impressed Buttler among others. He’s now taking some high catches near the edge of the boundary. Here is Sakariya’s story
Mohit Arya: “RR should probably open with Mahipal Lomror in place of Manan Vohra.” — He has the reputation of being a big-hitter in domestic cricket. When Chandrakant Pandit was part of the RCA, he was impressed by Lomror and called him Chotta Gayle. It will be interesting to see if he gets a chance this evening
Sanket: “Jaiswal should get a chance to play at the top but the lack of runs from the sanju and jos is hurting RR the most. If you look their team on the paper they have very good resources like Dube ,Parag, Miller and Morris too. But they are just failing to put up show as a whole unit. They need to sort this out immediately otherwise this season could end up in the same way.”
Juwel: “Wanna see shakib vs mustafiz”
Shah: “Maybe Rajasthan should bring back Jaydev Unadkat in place of Manan Vohra , seeing he has really improved his batting and finding a decent form in bowling . RR can open with Sanju Samson.” — I reckon Unadkat will slot back in for Gopal anyway
6.25pm “I’m a homegrown Chennai boy, but happy to be in Mumbai [at the Wankhede],” Dinesh Karthik tells Star Sports with a big grin on his face. Looks like everyone, including reigning champions Mumbai Indians, are pleased to move out of Chepauk to pastures new.
Jos Buttler: “Been enjoying my time in India – the England tour before the IPL. Hope to get rolling with the Rajasthan Royals. I put a lot of responsibility and expectations on myself. We’re missing key players – that provides opportunity to me and others and we should relish that. Everyone loves playing in the IPL, more so the young Indian players. I enjoy spending time and working with them. Great learning ground for all of us. Probably Chetan Sakariya [which young player has impressed you the most?]. He has fantastic skills with his left-arm attitude and more so his attitude. He always has a smile.”
Pradeep: “RR can include Mahipal Lomror in place of Manan.” — Yashasvi Jaiswal and Anuj Rawat are other replacement options for RR
Karan Sacheti: “I was just having a look at the KKR line up which prima facie looks a very dangerous side but look deeper and there are questions that KKR have failed to answer over the last three years”
6.15pm Hello and welcome to ESPNcricinfo’s live ball-by-ball coverage of match 18 in IPL 2021. A message from us to our readers, especially in India: mask up in public, and follow social distancing and self-sanitising protocols. And if you’re eligible, please take your vaccine as soon as possible.
The Rajasthan Royals finished last in 2020 and not much has changed this season. They continue to be rooted to the bottom of the points table and to add to their troubles, Jofra Archer is likely to be unavailable for the tournament. His England team-mates Ben Stokes and Liam Livingstone are already out of the league. Jos Buttler has been pushed up to the top, but both he and Manan Vohra are yet to really make an impact in the powerplay. The Kolkata Knight Riders, their opponents, have their own batting issues to solve. Before the toss, take a gander at the preview, by yours truly.