Cricket

IPL 2018: Buttler and Stokes will be missed Eliminator, says KKR assistant coach Katich

[caption id="attachment_67387" align="aligncenter" width="580"] Simon Katich during the press-conference today. Image Source: XtraTime[/caption]

Kolkata: Though Rajasthan Royals won their last must win game against Royal Challengers Bangalore despite of not getting their star players like Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes as they left the team for their national duties. But Kolkata Knight Riders Assistant Coach Simon Katich feels that RR will miss the duo in the Eliminator at the Eden Gardens tomorrow.

“Yes they will miss Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes as they are high quality players but we all know it's an opportunity for someone else. We have seen that ourselves. Not having Starc, the youngsters have got an opportunity to step up,” said Katich on the eve of the match here today.

Kolkata defeated Rajasthan in both their matches this season. Rajasthan were going great guns with 63 for no loss inside five overs, when Andre Russell provided the breakthrough to dismiss Rahul Tripathi  before Kuldeep Yadav's four-wicket haul triggered the collapse.

Terming Russell a big-match player, Katich said: "He got us into the contest here... He is a big match player and we expect he is going to be ready to go for hopefully what is a big week if we can get the job done tomorrow night."

Katich further showered praise on skipper Dinesh Karthik who led by example and has filled in the void created by their most successful skipper Gautam Gambhir.

"It's always difficult when you come to a new franchise. You have to learn on your feet in terms of how your players go about it and also our game style which probably is a bit different from what he's been used to given the way we match-up with our batting and potentially three spinners.




"He's certainly learnt lot in these seven weeks about the group and the way we play. His batting has been outstanding, he's been on the top of his game. We have been very lucky from that point of view."

Their opponents Rajasthan Royals may consider themselves lucky in their passage to the playoff after a scratchy campaign but the former Aussie cricketer said their opponents mentored by Shane Warne would be no pushovers.

"The fact that Rajasthan are in the finals is no surprise given the talent they got in the squad but also the level of leadership from Ajinkya (Rahane). Also the fact the they have got a very good mentor in Shane Warne whose cricketing brain is outstanding.

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