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Ipl 2018
IPL 2017: Match Preview – KKR V/s RPS
Two-time IPL champions Kolkata would like to forget about their drubbing at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last game when they take on the Rising Pune Supergiant in an IPL encounter at Kolkata today.

Kolkata Knight Riders, who had began IPL season 10 on a winning note, suffered their heaviest defeat against SRH in their last outing. The pressure is now back on KKR to secure 16 points after a win today and become the second team after Mumbai Indians to make it to the play-offs.

The rain affected match in which KKR went down to SRH, exposed many weaknesses in the team. The first and foremost being the team's too much reliance on their top order. In every match of IPL 10 so far, in which their top order has failed to click, the team has been seen struggling. While chasing a mammoth total of 209 against SRH, Kolkata only managed to reach 161 for 7.

Barring Robin Uthappa, the middle and lower order batting of KKR is relatively weak. What's worked in favour of Kolkata until now is making Sunil Narine bat up the order, using him as a pinch hitter. In most matches where Narine has made quick-fire runs, Uthappa and Gambhir have capitalised on the good start.

Batsmen like Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan will have to come to the party, if KKR has to progress further in the tournament. Skipper Gautam Gambhir is expected to make a few changes in today's line-up like including Bangladeshi all rounder Shakib Al Hassan and new Jharkhand player, Ishank Jaggi.

In the meanwhile, Pune seem to have found their form back having won their last two matches on the trot. Moreover, the best news for the team is MS Dhoni's return to run-making ways. MSD scored an unbeaten 61 against SRH in the last game.

Ben Stokes, who just scored his maiden IPL century (103 from 63 balls) is also in cracking form. Stokes, batting at number 5, led a remarkable recovery, with the team chasing down 162 after being reduced to 42/4, in their last game against the Gujarat Lions.

All these factors have contributed to Pune finding themselves comfortably placed at the fourth spot of the points table.

Today's match is going to be a test of nerves for both the teams. On current form and team strength, Rising Pune Supergiant are clear favourites.

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