A struggling Kolkata team will hope for better results following a change in venue as they take on KL Rahul’s Team Punjab on Monday, April 26, at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

Kolkata have endured the worst possible start to their new Indian T20 League season, having lost four of their five matches thus far. Punjab, on the other hand, haven’t been much better either, but two wins in five games have put them fifth in the points table.

Punjab vs Kolkata head-to-head
Punjab Metrics Kolkata
27 Matches 27
9 Wins 18
33.33% Win % 66.67%

Despite the poor run of form though, history favours the two-time champions given their dominant head-to-head record against Punjab. In a total of 27 matches played between the teams, Kolkata have won 18 while Punjab have won just nine. It will be the first meeting between the two teams at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

While all eyes will be on KL Rahul during the match, one can totally expect a certain Chris Gayle to play his natural game against Kolkata. The Universal Boss has scored a total of 700 runs against Kolkata in the past and this has come at an average and strike rate of 46.66 and 152.17 respectively.

Best batsmen for Punjab vs Kolkata
Player Matches Runs High score Average Strike Rate 100s 50s
Chris Gayle 18 700 102* 46.66 152.17 1 5
Dinesh Karthik 24 557 69 32.76 142.45 0 3

For Kolkata, Dinesh Karthik will be someone to bat an eye on. The wicketkeeper-batsman has accumulated 557 runs in 22 innings against Punjab and this includes four half-centuries.

As far as bowling is concerned, none of Punjab’s bowlers have managed to trouble Kolkata much in the past. Mohammed Shami remains KL Rahul’s safest bet given that he has picked eight wickets in nine matches against Kolkata. Unlike KL Rahul, Kolkata captain Eoin Morgan will surely know whom to put his money on. Their star all-rounder Sunil Narine has absolutely loved bowling against Punjab as he has picked 28 wickets in 19 innings at an economy of 6.97.

Best bowlers for Punjab vs Kolkata
Player Innings Wickets Average Economy Strike Rate
Mohammed Shami 9 8 36.75 8.65 25.5
Sunil Narine 19 28 18.18 6.97 15.64

While all these numbers do favour Kolkata, the fact remains that Punjab are coming on the back of a win which makes them slight favourites to win the game.

Featured photo: AFP / Sajjad Hussain