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Sai-Shubman in spotlight as GT battle in-form KKR for hopes of IPL playoff spot

Sai-Shubman in spotlight as GT battle in-form KKR for hopes of IPL playoff spot

With Salt's absence looming, the spotlight falls on Rahmanullah Gurbaz, the former GT player who recently joined KKR.

The battle for the IPL 2024 playoffs heats up as Gujarat Titans (GT) lock horns with table-toppers Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Monday. While KKR have already secured their playoff spot, GT cling to a sliver of hope for a postseason berth, with just two matches remaining in the league stage.

KKR Batting Bonanza: Top-Order Juggernaut

KKR’s dominant performance this season can be attributed to their explosive top-order batting. Each of their top four batsmen boasts over 300 runs with a strike rate exceeding 10, a historic feat in the IPL.

Openers Sunil Narine and Phil Salt have been instrumental in this success, stitching together six fifty-plus partnerships with an impressive average of 46.58. However, Salt’s imminent departure for England’s T20 World Cup preparations leaves a gap to be filled.

Rahmanullah Gurbaz: Weapon against Rashid Khan?

With Salt’s absence looming, the spotlight falls on Rahmanullah Gurbaz, the former GT player who recently joined KKR.

Gurbaz could be slotted in as the opening batsman and wicketkeeper right away, giving him valuable playing time before the playoffs. Notably, Gurbaz boasts an impressive record against GT’s star spinner, Rashid Khan, having slammed him for 30 runs off just 11 balls in the IPL without getting dismissed.

Rashid Khan: GT’s last stand?

While KKR boasts a formidable batting lineup, Rashid Khan remains GT’s best hope. He has a decent record against most KKR batsmen, particularly Andre Russell, who averages a meager 8.0 against him in the IPL. However, Gurbaz’s past success against Rashid could pose a serious threat to GT’s bowling attack.

KKR Bowling Prowess

Beyond their batting prowess, KKR also boasts a potent bowling attack. They hold the unique distinction of having four bowlers – Varun Chakravarthy, Harshit Rana, Sunil Narine, and Andre Russell – with over 15 wickets at an average below 21, another first in IPL history.

More on IPL:

GT Uphill Battle: Narrow Path to IPL Playoff

GT currently sits at a precarious eighth position in the points table. While mathematically still in contention, their playoff hopes remain slim.

Form Guide: GT vs KKR

KKR’s recent form has been exceptional, reflected in their four-match winning streak (WWWWL). Conversely, GT’s journey has been less consistent, with a record of three wins and two losses in their last five games (WLLLW).

This high-voltage clash promises an exciting encounter. Can GT defy the odds and reignite their playoff dreams, or will KKR continue their dominant run and potentially secure a top-two finish? The answer will unfold at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Monday.

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