Kolkata Knight Riders will be desperate to get their flag campaign back on track, while Royal Challengers Bangalore will try to shake off over-reliance on their top three hitters when the two teams clash in the IPL in Bengaluru on Wednesday. The two-time champions seemed clueless in their last four appearances, losing both at home and away. The Nitish Rana led side is currently in seventh place with just two wins from seven matches. The losses are largely attributable to the poor performance of KKR batters. They miss their regular skipper Shreyas Iyer and star all-rounder Shakib-Al-Hasan.
In the 49-run loss to Chennai Super Kings on Sunday, KKR batsmen were expected to rise to the occasion, looking for a score of over 230, instead the top class, consisting of the likes of Venkatesh Iyer, Rana, collapsed and N Jagadeesan, under pressure into each other.
KKR also struggled to zero their opening pair. The former champions have shuffled with Sunil Narine, Jagadeesan, Litton Das, Jason Roy and Rahmanullah Gurbaz at the top.
Their decision to send Narine to open the innings alongside Jagadeesan against CSK backfired as the West Indian went off for a duck.
Had Roy and Rinku Singh not been fifty, the margin of defeat would have been greater.
The duo’s performance is the silver lining in an otherwise dismal showing against CSK.
Big hitter Andre Russell has also failed miserably in his role as a finisher. He hasn’t been able to hit the big players and the fact that KKR sent him to number seven or eight hasn’t helped.
The condition of the all-rounder is also a point of concern. He has not bowled his four overs quota once this season as he often gets injured while bowling.
But KKR will enter the game with a slight psychological advantage, having beaten RCB by 81 points earlier in the season.
Meanwhile, RCB will be very confident after a seven point win over the then table top Rajasthan Royals and would be keen to extend their winning streak.
Faf du Plessis and his troops have won four of their seven matches, including the last two, and are just outside the top four in fifth place.
RCB’s victories are due to sensational performers from a few players.
Du Plessis is in superb form and has built up several century stands with Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell also on a roll.
The reliance on the three is so great that only they do most of the scoring, while the other batters haven’t fired.
More is expected from the middle class consisting of Dinesh Karthik, Mahipal Lomlor, Shahbaz Ahmed and Suyash Prabhudessai.
Among the bowlers, Mohammed Siraj is in sensational form. The Purple Cap holder conceded 7.17 runs per over and has bowled the most dot balls – 89 this season.
Siraj is ably supported by Wayne Parnell and Harshal Patel.
The addition of Sri Lankan spinner Wanindu Hasaranga has also done wonders for the previously struggling RCB bowling unit.
RCB was undone by KKR spinners earlier this season and they will have to be a bit careful playing players like Varun Chakravarthy, Suyash Sharma and Narine.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Faf du Plessis (c), Akash Deep, Finn Allen, Anuj Rawat, Avinash Singh, Manoj Bhandage, Michael Bracewell, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Karthik, Siddarth Kaul, Virat Kohli, Mahipal Lomror, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Siraj, Wayne Parnell, Harshal Patel, Suyash Prabhudessai, Rajan Kumar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Karn Sharma, Himanshu Sharma, Sonu Yadav, Vijaykumar Vyshak, David Willey.
Knight Riders from Kolkata: Nitish Rana (capt), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Venkatesh Iyer, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Shardul Thakur, Lockie Ferguson, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Harshit Rana, Varun Chakravarthy, Anukul Roy, Rinku Singh, N Jagadeesan, Vaibhav Arora, Suyash Sharma , David Wiese, Kulwant Khejroliya, Litton Das, Mandeep Singh, Jason Roy.
(This story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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