2328Views

The Virat Kohli led Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sharjah International Stadium in which will be the 28th match of the Indian Premier League 2020. Both the teams will come into the match on the back of wins and given the form of both the teams, there is very little to separate them.

Kolkata Knight Riders have been casting a magic spell in the death overs as the games which were never meant to be theirs, were completely changed into their favor in the last matches. KKR after winning the toss, chose to bat first and notched up a total of 164 with the help of half-centuries of Shubman Gill and Dinesh Karthik. KXIP looked in a very comfortable position at 115/1, as once KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal provided the team a blazing start. But, the magic of Sunil Narine once again turned the tables in the favor of KKR and with seven runs needed of the last ball, Glenn Maxwell could manage only a four.

The clash between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings saw once again what damage the captain Virat Kohli can do to the opposition. After winning the toss, RCB elected to bat first and had a comparatively slow start to their innings but the resistance of the Indian batsman Virat Kohli combined with the clean hitting of the all-rounder Shivam Dube helped RCB reach a total of 169. CSK, who are struggling with the bat once again failed to come close.

Can Virat Kohli and Co. continue their winning form in pursuit of their maiden IPL title? Or will Kolkata Knight Riders once again cast the magic spell?

Head to Head

Matches Played- 25, RCB- 10, KKR- 15, N/R- 0

Team News

RCB have not reported any injuries and with the team doing a wonderful job, the management is expected to play the same Xl that handed them a thumping victory over the Chennai Super Kings.

Kolkata Knights Riders would be fretting over the condition of Andre Russell who injured himself during the match against KXIP. The management has not released any update on the condition of the West Indian yet. In the case of him requiring time to recover, the much talked about English opener Tom Banton could be given the opportunity to make his debut.

Pitch and Conditions

The Sharjah pitch has been an absolute belter for the batsmen and no bowlers are being spared. Once again a high-scoring thriller is expected. With the match scheduled to take place in the evening and humidity on the higher side, the due is expected to play an important role. 

The conditions are once again expected to be ideal for cricket as clear skies are expected throughout the day. The temperature is expected to be hovering in the 32-33 degree range with the humidity once again expected to be on the higher side.

Probable Playing Xl

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers (wk), Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Sunil Narine, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell/Tom Banton, Dinesh Karthik (C&Wk), Pat Cummins, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy

Key Battles

Aaron Finch (RCB) vs Pat Cummins (KKR)

Aaron Finch (RCB) vs Pat Cummins (KKR)

The Australian limited overs captain Aaron Finch has not been able to make a mark yet in this season and will be looking to get the momentum towards his side. There is no doubt on the potential the opener possesses and it's just a matter of time he gets going. While, It would not be easy by means to get things underway against the KKR, given their incredible bowling line-up.

Aaron Finch to get going will have to face off against his fellow countrymen Pat Cummins. The Australian is currently one of the best bowlers in the world and given the fact that Finch has been struggling to get his timing right, the pacer will be eyeing to get him out early.

Can Aaron Finch prove why is he considered one of the most destructive openers in the sport? Or will Pat Cummins castle his Captain?

Rahul Tripathi (KKR) vs Navdeep Saini (RCB)

Rahul Tripathi (KKR) vs Navdeep Saini (RCB)

The latest opener for KKR- Rahul Tripathi stunned the entire cricketing world by his dashing batting performance against the Chennai Super Kings, where he went on to score a fluent 81 of 51 balls. Though, the Right-Hander could not replicate the same performance against the KXIP. It would be really interesting to watch the approach Tripathi takes against the RCB side.

RCB would for sure know the danger he possesses as a batsman and will have done their homework. The 27-year old Navdeep Saina has been in a really good form this season and has shown great levels of improvement in his game. It is growing in confidence ever since he bowled the brilliant super over against the Mumbai Indians, that won RCB the game. It promises to be a great battle when the two Indians take on each other.

Can Tripathi cement his place as an opener by playing another stunner? Or will the in-form Navdeep Saini make a short stay for the opener?

Prediction

Both teams come into the match on the back of wins. It's the matter of which one of them can carry on the winning momentum. RCB look very well balanced and seem to have covered their bowling weaknesses by including players like Washington Sundar, Adam Zampa and Isuru Udana. One of the other concerns was the form of the captain Virat Kohli, but the run-machine as usual showed why he is the best in the world with a cracking 90 runs of 52 balls against the CSK.

It would definitely be a huge blow if the West Indian all-rounder will have to be rested for a few matches due to the injury. But, The English sensation Tom Banton who is someone who hit the ball a long way too. With Dinesh Karthik hitting his form in the match against KXIP. The KKR look a much tougher side now.

Though, the fact that the match is being played at Sharjah gives RCB the slight edge here due to the fact that they have some of best hard-hitters in the world in their side. Irrespective of that, the match does promise to be a high-scoring thriller.

Cricwizz predicts Royal Challengers Bangalore to win