Kolkata Knight Riders are all set to lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, tonight. Will RCB defeat KKR to move to the second position in the points table?
Well, it won’t be an easy task for RCB as KKR have good batting depth and bowling unit. The win in this game is more dependent on which team performs better than the other.
The last time these two teams faced each other, AB de Villiers smashed 73 runs off 33 balls in Sharjah and took away the game from KKR. Kolkata could only score 112 runs while chasing a total of 195 runs.
In the last game, RCB defeated Rajasthan Royals, all thanks to the phenomenal batting from AB de Villiers, who snatched the game from RR’s hands as Bangalore scored 35 runs in the last 2 overs.
Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Super Over. After, solid striking from David Warner leveled the score. Lockie Ferguson was the star for KKR as he picked three wickets in the match and then took two wickets for only two runs in the Super Over, which was walking in a park chase for Kolkata.
As of now, RCB are placed in the third position with 12 points from nine games while KKR are right below them in the fourth position with 10 points from nine games. This is a crucial fixture for the two sides because a win can help them in moving closer to the playoffs as the Dream 11 IPL moves into the final stages of the group stage.
Match Toss Time: 17:30 Local (19:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 18:00 Local (19:30 IST)
Match Venue: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
The day is expected to be sunny and there are no chances of rain spoiling this much-awaited fixture. The maximum temperature will be around 39°C while the minimum is expected to be around 28°C. Humidity is expected to rise and go to a maximum of 60%.
The Abu Dhabi pitch has supported spinners and variation bowling. Jos Buttler, however, showed us against CSK that the intent matters and once you are settled on this pitch, then you can build your inning on good pace later in the match.
A score of somewhere around 160 or 10 more runs above that while batting first can seal the match for a team. If the chasing team has to win on this pitch, then they have to use the powerplay to their full potential because this pitch will slow down as the innings move forward.
The two teams haven’t reported any injuries and are likely to feature the same playing XI that helped them in winning their last fixtures against RR and SRH respectively. Aaron Finch has been poor, however, the batsman of his caliber can take away a game from the team’s hand on his day. So, he is expected to keep his place in this fixture.
Lockie Ferguson’s match-winning performance in the last game has booked his place in the remaining games of KKR while Shahbaz Ahmed might be replaced with Shivam Dube in the RCB squad.
Probable Playing XI
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Eoin Morgan (C), Andre Russell/Sunil Narine, Pat Cummins, Lockie Ferguson, Kuldeep Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (WK), Gurkeerat Man Singh, Washington Sundar, Chris Morris, Isuru Udana, Shahbaz Ahmed/Shivam Dube, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal.
KKR vs RCB Fantasy Team
AB de Villiers (WK), Dinesh Karthik, Virat Kohli, Shubman Gill, Eoin Morgan, Washington Sundar, Chris Morris, Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, Isuru Udana, Lockie Ferguson
Virat Kohli (RCB), Shubman Gill (KKR)
Chris Morris (RCB), AB de Villiers (RCB)
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