The Tata IPL 2023 is entering its final phase, and the qualifiers are yet to be decided. Besides GT and CSK, every team can qualify for the playoffs.
That is why Match 53 between PBKS and KKR is going to be crucial. The cricket match will decide the first team that will officially be out of the IPL 2023 playoff race. PBKS is currently placed at rank 7 with 10 points in 10 games.
If the Punjab Kings win the game, they can reach rank 3, just behind GT and CSK. On the other hand, KKR is placed at rank 8 with 8 points in 10 games. A convincing win against PBKS can also place them at rank 4.
Thus, the match is expected to be highly competitive for both the teams and the cricket fans.
PBKS vs. KKR head-to-head analysis
Set to be played at the Eden Gardens on May 8, Match 53 of the IPL 2023 will favor KKR due to their past record and home-ground advantage.
When it comes to a head-to-head analysis, KKR and PBKS have played 31 matches in the IPL till now. Out of this, KKR has registered a win in 20 games, while PBKS has only won 11 times. However, the Punjab Kings have defeated the Kolkata Knight Riders 3 times out of their previous 5 games.
In fact, the team won their first matchup in IPL 2023 through the DLS method. Punjab Kings posted a total of 191 against KKR in Match 2. KKR could only muster a score of 146 for 7 in 16 overs, losing via the DLS method.
As for their current form, KKR is entering the match with a win, while PBKS lost their previous game. Both teams lack any individual players in contention for the Orange or Purple Cap.
However, KKR will rely on Jason Roy to lead them, while PBKS will turn to their captain, Shikhar Dhawan, for support.
KKR vs. PBKS team analysis
Both KKR and PBKS are suffering from similar concerns in IPL 2023. The teams have failed to construct a balanced squad with no veteran that has been part of the brand for multiple years.
As evidenced by their inconsistent performances, both teams are still attempting to achieve equilibrium. The only consistent players for the teams have been Shikhar Dhawan for PBKS and Rinku Singh for KKR. Recent KKR success can be attributed to Jason Roy’s contribution to the team’s explosive initial stand.
Both teams are quite close in batting, with their top scorers averaging around 300. This number is highly average since Faf leads the competition with 511 runs.
When it comes to bowling, the teams begin to diverge. KKR has made excellent use of its spinners, while PBKS depends on its pacers. Varun Chakravarthy has amassed 14 wickets for KKR, while an in-form Arshdeep leads PBKS with 16 wickets.
However, Kolkata can have an edge here since Arshdeep has conceded over 60 runs in one game while KKR’s spinners have been economical in the IPL 2023.
KKR has also been better at fielding, rarely missing any opportunities. On the other hand, PBKS has struggled a bit while helping the bowlers.
Key players to watch out for
Undoubtedly, PBKS will rely on Shikhar Dhawan to lead them. The player has scored 292 runs in 7 matches with a strike rate of 149. The opener alone can change the entire rhythm of the game. Sam Curran is also a name that can turn the tides in PBKS’ favor as an all-rounder.
While Curran has not justified his price tag in the IPL till now, Dhawan has been in consistent touch since the start of the competition.
On the other hand, KKR will turn to Jason Roy, who has scored 180 runs in only 4 matches. The player has been hitting at a strike rate of 160 in this IPL. Ever since Roy started opening for KKR, he has become one of the first choices of fantasy players on the top cricket betting sites.
However, the opener will require assistance from Venkatesh Iyer, who has been quiet since hitting a century. Both players had bad performances in their previous games, but Roy would like to continue his immaculate form against PBKS.
PBKS vs. KKR pitch report
The Eden Gardens is known for hosting action-packed games due to its large crowd capacity. The venue produces an average first-inning score of 176, which is expected to be crossed in Match 53.
As for the weather conditions, rain is not expected to play any role in the cricket match. Despite the crowd’s disadvantage, PBKS will enjoy the venue since it assists pacers. Pacers account for 67% of the wickets taken at Eden Gardens.
This is an area where PBKS is doing much better than KKR, giving them an advantage. Given these conditions, thePunjab Kings can use Arshdeep Singh early in the game.
Closing Words: A pacer-friendly pitch to assist PBKS
Despite playing the same number of matches, PBKS has a better chance of qualifying for the IPL playoffs than KKR. The team has 10 points in 10 matches, while KKR only has 8.
Even then, KKR would try to capitalize on the home-ground advantage in Match 53. The result of the match will be decided by two things: the openers’ performance and the pacers’ economy.
Dhawan and Roy will play a similar role for their teams, while PBKS would hope for Arshdeep to bounce back from the recent disaster. A loss in this match will end the team’s IPL season, so expect a close fight in Match 53.
Given the teams’ current form and recent performance, KKR might manage to keep their dreams alive against PBKS.