At this moment, Rajasthan Royals are the team to beat. In their first game of the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League in the UAE, Royals were pegged to be the underdogs against MS Dhoni's Chennai Super Kings. What followed was an easy win for the Royals and a ton of debate on Dhoni's batting position and captaincy.
In the next game, the Steve Smith's side looked completely shattered by Kings XI Punjab's batting line-up. But then Sanju Samson and Rahul Tewatia emerged as heroes for the franchise to pick up a record-breaking win. Now, Kolkata Knight Riders will face the Royals, who are already looking like one of the favourites to win the title this year.
Royals' strength lies in their strong batting line-up at the top of the order. Jos Buttler and Steve Smith can be as dangerous as any other this season, and Sanju Samson has already shown what he can do. Robin Uthappa, Rahul Tewatia and David Miller form a solid middle-order and Jofra Archer and Riyan Parag down the order for late flourishes.
Against KKR, RR look like a heavy competition. But Royals' bowling line-up has not been impressive so far this season and KKR need to exploit this factor. KKR may think about not using Sunil Narine as an opener against Royals and bring Rahul Tripathi into the team.
Tripathi is an experienced customer and has played for Royals in the past. He can prove to be a perfect spoil to Shubman Gill on the other end, and the two can give KKR a good start against the likes of Jaydev Unadkat and Ankit Rajpoot.
Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell and Dinesh Karthik can finish the job in the late overs. KKR need to target Royal's bowlers and go with a solid batting line-up to give themselves of beating the team to beat.