With four defeats each in their bags, it’s high team both these teams begin their resurrection. Both KKR and RCB have won only two matches after their meeting at Eden Gardens (which Kolkata won), earlier in the league, but while the former have an unstable spot in the top four, RCB are stuck at seventh.
The other common factor between them both is the fact that their bowling units failed to defend 200+ total against the explosive batting unit of CSK. The teams will lock horns in the Chinnaswamy after defeats that they would gladly want to overturn.
In the South Indian Derby, RCB failed to trump CSK, adding to the string of losses against their top rivals. On the other hand, KKR are returning from a 55-run loss to the DD team, which is being led by the young Shreyas Iyer.
Another loss for either of the teams will put them in a spot of bother as the tournament has already entered its second leg.
Date: 29th April
Venue: M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
Time: 8.00 PM IST
If Royal Challengers Bangalore bat first:
Predicted score – 190+
Will RCB ever see a day when the team isn’t dependant on Virat Kohli or AB de Villiers to do the bulk of scoring for them? The problem has been the same since one can remember. The skipper has been trying quite a few combinations, some understandable while some unreasonable, but the results have been the same.
Batting first wouldn’t obviously be on cards if RCB win the toss, given the absence of death bowlers in the squad. However, if the situation demands De Kock and Kohli to pad-up first, they must look to fire, not allowing the burden to fall on the middle order. If De Villiers is to get out for cheap, the in-form Mandeep Singh is the only next name that team can rest their hopes on.
They surely have accumulated some all-rounders like Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Corey Anderson, Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes and so on, but they haven’t delivered.
This top-heavy RCB batting line-up will be pitted against a spin-heavy KKR bowling unit that hasn’t quite hit the right notes. In their most recent match, they leaked 219 runs against the Daredevils. In the seven matches that they have played, the spin-trio of Yadav, Narine and Chawla have picked up 20 out of the 40 wickets KKR have to their name this season.
The pace attack is led by youngster Shivam Mavi and Tom Curran, who despite their decent performances have been overshadowed by the spinners’ dominance. The experience of Mitchell Johnson hasn’t helped a lot as well.
If Kolkata Knight Riders bat first:
Predicted Score – 180+
KKR have big names in their batting line-up too, right until Andre Russell walks in at six or seven. Russell is probably the only point of difference between the teams – an explosive lower middle order batsman. He is capable of boosting the team’s total in the death overs if there is an upper order collapse. His services will be very crucial and, arguably, they might turn out to be the deciding factor of this game.
They have a fixed opening pair of Lynn and Narine who, in their explosive best, would rip apart any bowling attack. But, there seems to be a pattern where one of them fires and the other gets out soon. Although Robin Uthappa and Nitish Rana can carry the game forward, the early wicket usually shifts the momentum towards the opposition.
Dinesh Karthik has been consistent with his bat and the skipper’s habit of not premeditating the shots and playing the ball on its merit has been helping him.
Speaking of RCB’s bowling attack, it is almost non-existent if not for Umesh Yadav. Others have mostly had bad days at the office. The skipper’s decision of bowling Corey Anderson and Mohammed Siraj in the death overs was incomprehensible as they leaked 55 runs in the last four overs.
The spinners have been expensive as well, surprisingly Chahal is no exception. Washington Sundar, who had a brilliant domestic season hasn’t seen his spells get the same result. It’s questionable if bringing Moeen Ali would make any difference for the side.
In the last eight encounters at Chinnaswamy, the teams batting first and second have won four matches each. KKR’s spot in the table, which might be taken away by Rajasthan Royals before the encounter, doesn’t speak much about their strengths.
The teams are down in the same depths with respect to their bowling and have to better their games for a revival in the league. The team that uses their spin bowlers intelligently, as the pitch assists them, will probably emerge as the winner of this game.