Kolkata and Punjab will face each other in the eighth game of the ongoing Indian T20 League on April 1. Kolkata has played two games, winning the first one and losing the second one. They won the first game against Chennai by a convincing margin and lost the game against Bangalore in a close encounter.
On the other hand, Punjab chased down the target of 206 runs with ease against Bangalore to start their campaign. Both teams will face each other at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Kolkata:Â The team had an injury scare when all-rounder Andre Russell sustained a shoulder injury after diving during the game against Bangalore. It will be interesting to see whether he becomes match fit for the game against Punjab or not. If he doesn’t recover well enough, Chamika Karunaratne might make his ITL debut.
Umesh Yadav – The right-arm pacer has been a revelation with the ball in the tournament. In the two matches, he has picked four wickets, averaging nine at an economy rate of 4.50. Expect him to wreak havoc against Punjab with the new ball.Â
Venkatesh Iyer – The left-hander had an ordinary last two games with the bat. Expect him to make a comeback against a relatively weak bowling attack.
Probable XI:Â Venkatesh Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Nitish Rana, Shreyas Iyer (c), Sam Billings, Sheldon Jackson (wk), Chamika Karunaratne / Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Varun Chakravarthy
Punjab:Â The team missed the services of South Africa’s lead pacer Kagiso Rabada in the first game against Bangalore, although they won the game. The 2014 finalists now have a headache of leaving out either Odean Smith or Rabada, with the latter being available after completing three-day quarantine. Smith took a beating from the Bangalore batters but compensated with his eight-ball 25 not out.
Shikhar Dhawan – The left-hander scored a magnificent 43 against Bangalore. Given his form in the last couple of years, expected him to unleash himself in the upcoming game.
Arshdeep Singh – The left-arm medium-pacer is a find for the team in the last couple of years due to his smart bowling and fearless approach.Â
Probable XI:Â Mayank Agarwal (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa (wk), Liam Livingstone, Raj Bawa, Shahrukh Khan, Kagiso Rabada / Odean Smith, Harpreet Brar, Arshdeep Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Rahul Chahar
Venue:Â Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Time:Â 07:30 PM IST
Live Telecast:Â Star Sports Network and Disney+Hotstar
Pitch Report:Â The last two games on the venue (Chennai vs Kolkata and Lucknow vs Gujarat) saw pacers getting a great deal of help from the pitch with the new ball. Notably, these games were played at night and the upcoming game between Kolkata and Punjab will be played at the same time. Expect skippers from both sides to bowl first after winning the toss as dew will be a factor as well.