Two-time title holders Kolkata Knight Riders will be looking to earn two valuable points and move up to second spot in the points-table when they take on struggling Royal Challengers Bangalore in their IPL match in Bengaluru on Monday.
The Knight Riders are currently placed at third position in the table with eight points from seven games, winning four and losing three, while Royal Challengers are lying at a lowly seventh spot with four points from six games that included just two wins.
Although both KKR and RCB are coming into the match after facing defeats last night, in Delhi and Hyderabad, respectively, the visitors would definitely start as favourites.
KKR would be keen to find their foot after suffering a 27-run loss to Delhi Daredevils when they were bowled out for 159 in 18.3 overs, chasing 187.
For the Knight Riders, Chinnaswamy stadium has been the happy hunting ground, for they had lifted the IPL title for the second time here after defeating Kings XI Punjab in the final.
The Kolkata outfit led by Gautam Gambhir are in top form.
Thanks to their batting might, they have done extremely well till now in the tournament.
Gambhir himself has been among runs, having hit three half-centuries in seven games. He has been well supported by the likes of Robin Uthappa, Suryakumar Yadav, Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell.
Uthappa’s brilliant innings of 72 off 52 balls against the Daredevils last night was the lone bright spot for the Knight Riders.
Even their bowling have done reasonably well with the likes of Sunil Naraine, Umesh Yadav and Piyush Chawla in the ranks. However, it would be interesting to see how they counter the strong batting line-up of the Royal Challengers.
The RCB, on their part, would once again be relying heavily on their batsmen, hoping that skipper Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, KL Rahul and Shane Watson put up a massive total on the board. And Chris Gayle’s return after a paternity leave would further strengthen the home team’s batting.
Captain Kohli would be desperate to turn the wheels in the team’s favour and he would hope that even his bowlers come up with something special tomorrow.
The Royal Challengers would have to put the disappointment of their 15-run loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad last night behind quickly and make amends.
Watson has also been in good form with both bat and ball, but other bowlers in Yuzvendra Chahal, Kane Richardson, Iqbal Abdulla and Varun Aaron are yet to click.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (C), Varun Aaron, Abu Nechi, S Arvind, Samuel Badree, Stuart Binny, Yuzuvendra Chahal, AB De Villiers, Praveen Dubey, Chris Gayle, Travis head, Iqbal Abdulla, Kedar Jadhav, Akshay Karnewar, Sarfraz Khan, Vikramjeet Malik, Mandeep Singh, Adam Milne, Harshal Patel, Lokesh Rahul, Parveez Rasool, Kane Richardson, Sachin Baby, Mitchell Starc, Vikas Tokas, Shane Watson, David Wiese and Tabraiz Shamsi.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (captain), Piyush Chawla, Brad Hogg, Jason Holder, Sheldon Jackson, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Lynn, Manan Sharma,Morne Morkel, Colin Munro, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Ankit Rajpoot, Andre Russell, Rajagopal Sathish, Shakib Al Hasan, Jaydev Unadkat, Robin Uthappa, Suryakumar Yadav, Umesh Yadav.