Knight Riders are placed eighth with four wins from ten games. If they lose on Saturday, they will be all but out of the race.
In Super Giants’ last two games, they replaced a struggling Manish Pandey with a bowler. That gave Deepak Hooda a chance to bat at No. 3, where he notched up scores of 34 off 28 and 52 off 34.
Knight Riders put an end to their five-match losing streak with a seven-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals, but there is no end to their problems. Their openers haven’t fired. Their bowlers, with the exception of Sunil Narine, have had mixed returns. They have even dropped two of their retained players, Venkatesh Iyer and Varun Chakravarthy.
However, if their bowlers can dismiss Rahul and Quinton de Kock early, they can surprise Super Giants, as a lot of other match-ups are in their favour.
Avesh didn’t play Super Giants’ last match as he had just recovered from a “small injury” and the franchise didn’t want him to play back-to-back games. But after a further gap of six days, he should be back in the XI on Saturday. If so, K Gowtham will have to miss out.
Lucknow Super Giants: 1 Quinton de Kock (wk), 2 KL Rahul (capt), 3 Deepak Hooda, 4 Marcus Stoinis, 5 Krunal Pandya, 6 Ayush Badoni, 7 Jason Holder, 8 Avesh Khan/K Gowtham, 9 Mohsin Khan, 10 Dushmantha Chameera, 11 Ravi Bishnoi
Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 B Indrajith (wk), 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Shreyas Iyer (capt), 4 Nitish Rana, 5 Rinku Singh, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Anukul Roy, 8 Sunil Narine, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Shivam Mavi