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Kolkata seek home comfort against Mayank-less LSG

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Kolkata, April 13: Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders will seek home comfort in their bid to return to winning ways when they face a depleted Lucknow Super Giants in an Indian Premier League match here on Sunday.
The match will be KKR’s first of the five matches at home on the trot and the Gautam Gambhir-mentored side will be fully aware this can prove decisive to clinch the play-off spot for the first time since 2021.
In the points tally, nothing separates the two teams, both of whom have secured three wins each, and lost their respective last-round matches. KKR’s over-reliance on their Caribbean ageing duo of Sunil Narine and Andre Russell was exposed by defending champions Chennai Super Kings when they lost by seven wickets in their previous outing.
Narine (27) and Russell (10) failed with the bat and the team, who had posted two 200-plus scores from three matches on the back of the Caribbean duo’s blazing form, could manage an under par 137/9 at Chennai.
That sums up KKR’s batting that has relied on some odd fireworks and missed an anchor in the absence of Nitish Rana (finger injury), who is slated to sit out of another match.
In the spotlight since the beginning of the season, KKR captain Shreyas Iyer has failed to impress and his scores give an abysmal picture — 0, 39 not out, 18 and 34.
Their another designated batter Venkatesh Iyer has three single digit scores this season to go with one odd fifty against Royal Challengers Bengaluru and the team, it seems, doesn’t have a clear role for him.
From batting at No. 3 in their IPL opener against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Iyer was seen in the finisher’s role at No. 7 and No. 5 in their last two matches.
Ramandeep Singh also had a lean run after an impressive 35 against SRH.
The 2022 U-19 World Cup winning Angkrish Raghuvanshi has impressed the most following his 54 against Delhi Capitals. And he will like to return among runs after failing to convert his start against CSK.
The most-talked about signing Mitchell Starc’s poor form with the ball has been the talk of the town. (PTI)

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