On the second day of the Indian Premier League (IPL) two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders will take on Royals Challengers Bangalore at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata on 8th April, Sunday. The 11th edition of the cash-rich league will begin with a clash between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. After the opening day of the league, KKR under the leadership of Dinesh Karthik will take on Virat Kohli’s Royals Challengers Bangalore. Though KKR won the IPL trophy twice RCB is yet to win their maiden title. They have qualified for the final three times but yet to clinch one of the richest cricket leagues in the world. As KKR will play the match at their home ground they will have upper hand. In IPL, there are many rivalries and the battle between KKR and RCB is one of the best in the Indian T20 league.
Kolkata Knight Riders
KKR and RCB took on each other 20 times. Both of the franchises share a great rivalry. While KKR won 11 times RCB defeated KKR 9 times. As KKR will play the match at home they will enjoy a slight lead over RCB. However, when a new look KKR will take on RCB it will be an interesting clash between two sides. In this edition of IPL, KKR launches their bid for their third title.
Home ground-Eden Gardens is a fortress of KKR. They have won five matches at their home ground while RCB won only thrice. Hence, it is clear that KKR has a far better record at their home against RCB. Considering their home record, they are expected to win their opening match against RCB.
Filled with youngsters- The shortest format of the game is fast-paced so it needs youngsters. KKR is blessed with youngsters like Tom Curran, Chris Lynn, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill and Robin Uthappa. With such a talented squad KKR will enjoy the service of acrobatic batsmen. KKR will have a strong batting line up and a deadly bowling attack. At the same time, their fielding will be acrobatic.
Lack of experience-Though KKR has a strong squad most of their youngster lack the experience. While captain Dinesh Karthik has never played as a captain of any side players like Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Tom Curran, Shivam Mavi and Shubman Gill will play the IPL for the first time. They will be under the scanner if they fail to play as per their ability KKR will suffer badly.
Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Robin Uthappa (wk), Ishan Jaggi, Dinesh Karthik (C), Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Javon Searles, Vinay Kumar
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Virat Kohli led RCB will launch their campaign in an away match at the Eden Gardens. So far, RCB has won three matches at the iconic stadium on the bank of Hooghly river. RCB will look for a winning start but their poor record at Eden Gardens will be their biggest concern.
Presence of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers- In the history of IPL, RCB captain Virat Kohli is one of the big stars. He holds the record of most runs in a season. On the other hand, his South African partner AB de Villiers is a clean hitter of the ball. Kohli and de Villiers will play a key role for RCB. If they get they going RCB will have nothing to worry but KKR will have found a clue to get rid of them. Alongside them, RCB has Quinton de Kock, Brendon McCullum, two of the big names in international cricket.
A skilled pace attack- RCB always lacked a good bowling attack but in 2018 IPL auction they built a strong bowling attack. The likes of Tim Southee, Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Colin de Grandhomme will make a strong bowling attack.
Poor record at Eden Gardens will be their main concern. Even after having a strong batting attack they were bowled out for 49 against KKR at Eden Gardens against a pace attack which ran through their batting attack in 2017. So, they should be careful this time around.
Virat Kohli, Brendon McCullum, Mandeep Singh, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Quinton de Kock, YS Chahal, Pawan Negi, Umesh Yadav, Chris Woakes, Mohammad Siraj
Virat Kohli vs Mitchell Johnson
The cricketing world is well aware of the rivalry between Virat Kohli and Mitchell Johnson. The battle between best batsman of the time and one of the best fast bowlers Johnson will bring a competitiveness in the match at the heart of Eden Gardens.
Dinesh Karthik vs Yuzvendra Chahal
KKR captain is a beautiful hitter of the ball. His recent surge in international cricket indicated his rejuvenation in world cricket. On the other Hand, Indian spinner Chahal is well aware of strength and weakness of Chahal. So, it will be a great rivalry between a top-class batsman and a spinner.
As the match is going to be played at the Eden Gardens, home ground of KKR, they Kolkata side will have the upper hand in the match over the visiting side RCB.