IPL 2021 Preview: Balanced RCB seek to complete hattrick of wins vs vulnerable KKR

Somya Kapoor

Somya Kapoor

Author| Apr 17, 11:14 AM

Source: Twitter
Source: Twitter

Two in two, a position at the top of the table for Royal Challengers Bangalore and some good captaincy from Virat Kohli at a crucial stage of the game. Well, for the RCB fans it’s an unusual sight especially at the starting of the tournament. 

RCB are high on some brilliant performances from the rookies in the tournament so far. Seamer Harshal Patel showed his class with the ball in the first match against Mumbai Indians after picking up a fifer while Shahbaz Ahmed turned the game on its head against Sunrisers Hyderabad. 

The left-arm spinner picked up three wickets in one over at the death to not only bring RCB back in the hunt but push SRH on the backfoot. 

While RCB have turned fortunes for themselves from a critical situation, Kolkata Knight Riders lost a game from a position where grabbing a win was a cakewalk. 

KKR’s middle-order has been a cause of concern for the side. Batsmen like Andre Russell, captain Eoin Morgan and Shakib al Hasan have failed to leave a mark in the competition. Though, this is still an early call to make for batsmen with such calibre but the Kolkata franchise needs their middle and lower middle order to fire against RCB.  

Balanced RCB vs Vulnerable KKR

RCB captain Kohli has been talking about finding that perfect balance in his side for quite some time. And this was probably the reason why the Bangalore-based franchise went after Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell with all guns blazing. They were forced to pay Rs 14.5 Cr to fetch the right-hander but it did not look like a point of concern for them.

The call raised some eyebrows, given Maxwell's returns in the cash-rich league has been dwindling consistently over the last few years, but it seems like that RCB have hit the bullseye this time.

Maxwell, who is being handed over the responsibility of batting at number 4 has certainly shown his worth at the position. He has already played a couple of good knocks for the team that certainly did set a tone.

Apart from Maxwell, Devdutt Padikkal is back in the XI while AB de Villiers unleashed a powerful attack against MI which eventually anchored them to victory. Captain Kohli hasn’t scored big runs for some time now but has looked well settled at the crease for whatever the time he has spent out there in the middle. 

The uncapped youngsters have been pretty successful as far as the bowling department is concerned. So, the RCB unit looks to be a pretty balanced one at the moment. 

Coming to the Kolkata Knight Riders, they too have some young guns who are firing well for them. But the problem lies in the middle order as mentioned above. While Nitish Rana is in some great touch after he has scored a couple of fifties on the trot, Shubman Gill too has been involved in giving some decent starts to KKR. 

But it’s the players like Russell, Morgan, Shakib and even Dinesh Karthik who need to justify the kind of brand names they are. KKR are facing the problem of losing wickets regularly in the middle overs which can only be rectified if these four players take up the responsibility of staying at the crease for a longer period of time. 

Toss it up

Toss is going to play a major role in this game. The track in Chennai so far has created a lot of problems for the team batting second. Though Kohli is someone who loves to chase but looking at the condition of the strips, it is becoming difficult for the batsmen to get the timing right. 

They have been miscuing their shots, especially against the spinners while the seamers have used cutters and slower balls every now and then to deceive the batsmen. 

It is believed that chasing especially in a T20 game keeps you more in control of the game but this equation might not work when Kohli’s troops lock horns with Eoin Morgan’s unit. 

The mantra to be successful on this pitch is simple. Win the toss, bat first, set a decent total and use your bowlers well. 

Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders Details

Match: RCB vs KKR, 10th Match, Indian Premier League 2021

Date: Sunday, April 18, 2021

Time: 3:30 PM

Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Pitch and Weather 

The pitch in Chennai has been relatively slower where the bowlers have used the cutters and slower balls pretty well. The run-scoring has been difficult and it looks like this trend is going to persist at least in this match between RCB and KKR.  The weather has been decent throughout the matches that have been played here.

Team News 

RCB: Daniel Sams is out of the quarantine and has joined the team’s bio-bubble with two consecutive negative reports for COVID-19.

Devdutt Padikkal was back in the XI after recovering from COVID-19 to provide more strength to the side in the previous match while the bowlers are in decent form so far in the tournament. Skipper Kohli won’t be looking to make any changes in the team and would be reluctant to tweak the winning combination for now. 

KKR: The youngsters have been in some form for them in this competition while the senior pros need to get back into the groove to get some positive results. With a win and a defeat under their belt, KKR too won’t be looking to make much of a change in the XI. But there can be one change in the XI where Kuldeep Yadav might find a place for himself replacing Varun Chakravarthy

Strongest XI

RCB: Virat Kohli(c), Devdutt Padikkal, Shahbaz Ahmed, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers(w), Washington Sundar, Daniel Christian, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal

KKR: Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan(c), Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik(w), Shakib Al Hasan, Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Kuldeep Yadav

Fantasy XI

AB de Villiers (VC), Virat Kohli, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Devdutt Padikkal, Shubman Gill, Glenn Maxwell (C), Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Pat Cummins, Prasidh Krishna



 

  • IPL 2021

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