KKR RCB: Royal Challengers Bangalore’s hopes to qualify for this season’s playoffs seems like a distant reality, after winning just 1 game out of 9 matches played so far. With just 6 league games remaining in the tournament, RCB will look to regain their lost glory, with a far-fetched hope of qualifying the next leg of the tournament.
In their next game, RCB will be facing Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. What’s good for both the teams is the fact that neither of them are in good form now. KKR is currently in the worst phase of their tournament. The men in gold have faced 3 consecutive defeats in their previous matches. While RCB had a disappointing season on the whole. We will have to wait and watch who would turn out on the top, in this battle of equals.
For KKR however, the chances for qualifying for the playoffs are still strong. They need to win at least 4 out of their 6 games to be in contention for the next round. Their game against the RCB could be slightly in their favour, given the home advantage.
What’s concerning for KKR is Andre Russel’s shoulder injury. It goes without a doubt that Andre Russel has been the driver for most of their victories till date for KKR. His exclusion from the playing XI would mean a great loss to the team. He also failed to perform against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). After Russel’s dismissal, the team faltered in the death overs, signalling how important he is to the team. It still remains to be seen if the West-Indian will be declared fit for tomorrow’s game.
However, KKR will be confident of pulling this game from RCB, who will be playing this match with an extra baggage of pressure. For RCB this game is a do-or-die match. RCB’s pillars of strength are undoubtedly Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers and they have both been performing well. But they lack support from other players, in times of need. Even their bowling is a big worry, with their senior pacer Umesh Yadav and his pace counterpart Mohd Siraj leaking runs in almost every match. However, with Dale Steyn’s comeback, they would hope to turn their fortunes around.
RCB and KKR have played each other 24 times and the Knights have had an upper hand over the Royal Challengers, with 15 wins while RCB have just 9 wins. At the Eden Gardens, the ratio further favours the home team, with KKR winning 6 games out of 9 games being played. This is the second time both the teams are facing each other. In their last encounter, the KKR snatched the victory from the hands of RCB, after a spectacular performance by Andre Russel. The Jamaican took their team home by scoring an unbeaten 48 off 13 balls.
The pitch at the Eden Gardens is fast and will certainly help the pacers. However, scoring runs here wouldn’t be that difficult a task. The temperature in Kolkata would hover around 33-degree mark, which, however, would drop to 25 degrees during the course of the game. There is a slim chance of showers, but could be predominantly during the noon.
KKR’s Andre Russell sits on top of the chart for most sixes this year. He has hit the ball out of the park 30 times, in 7 games he has come to bat. Nitish Rana, is the other KKR batsman from KKR to be featured in this list, with 13 sixes. RCB has just one entrant in this list; AB de Villiers is sitting at the number 3 spot with 17 sixes to his name.
Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR will look to continue with the same team, despite losing their previous game against the CSK. However, it is still unclear if Andre Russel will make it to the playing XI. Harry Gurney may again find himself in the team replacing Lockie Ferguson, who has had a rather disappointing season so far.
Probable XI: Chris Lynn, Suni Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik (c/wk), Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Harry Gurney.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB will have a major change in their team, with the inclusion of Dale Steyn. The Steyn Gun will join hands with Navdeep Saini and Mohammed Siraj to reinforce the pace attack, while Umesh Yadav might be rested.
Probable XI: Parthiv Patel (wk), Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Akshdeep Nath, Pawan Negi, Umesh Yadav / Dale Steyn, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj.
FANFIGHT FANTASY CRICKET TEAMS FOR KKR vs RCB
PROBABLE TOP PERFORMERS
Virat Kohli (RCB) | Andre Russel / Dinesh Karthik (KKR)
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Select HD
Live Streaming – Hotstar
Match Timings – 20:00 IST
The prediction is for KKR to win the match.
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