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KKR vs RCB, IPL 2021: Kolkata look to stay afloat in crucial tie

Match: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (KKR vs RCB)

Date: May 3, 2021

Venue: Motera Stadium – Ahmedabad, India

Royal Challengers Bangalore started the season on a high with four successive wins in a row, but have managed just a win in the last three matches, with the win coming by a margin of a run. The franchise has been led brilliantly by batters such as Devdutt Padikkal,Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers while Virat Kohli is showing glimpses of his skills. The bowling has seen players such as Harshal Patel, Mohammad Siraj and Kyle Jamieson rise to the occasion, and RCB will be keen to get the better of KKR yet again in this edition. 

Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, are struggling for consistency and form, with just two wins in seven games thus far. They have huge problems with their top order, and we are in for some changes after yet another disappointing showing in the powerplay last game. The bowlers have blown hot and cold, with skipper Eoin Morgan in dismal form as well. KKR desperately will need to up their game from now if they want to qualify for the play offs. 

Weather Update and Pitch Report of KKR vs RCB: 

The temperature will be in the thirties, which means there will be plenty of dew on offer as well. The track has grip on offer, but batting becomes easier as the match progresses due to the dew that sets in. A target of 175 will be competitive. 

KKR Expected XI and Team News:

Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum stated his disappointment in the last game after the top order failed to maximise the powerplay overs. He stated that the team will make changes “for sure” against RCB, and we can expect Shubman Gill to be dropped for the match. Tim Seifert could come in at the top, with Sunil Narine dropping out. Pawan Negi could be the spinner who gets a chance in the XI. 

X Factors: 

Dinesh Karthik: The middle order wicket keeper has been getting starts this season, and has played a few crucial knocks in the death overs. He will be the key if KKR want to get some quick runs in the end. 

Probable XI: 

Tim Seifert, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Andre Russell, Dinesh Kathik (wk), Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy, Pawan Negi

RCB Expected XI and Team News:

The Royal Challengers Bangalore did not play Washington Sundar last time out, but he is expected to return for the clash against Kolkata Knight Riders. Rajat Patidar failed to get going last time out, and he might be dropped for the game, with Glenn Maxwell coming in at number three. Shahbaz Ahmed could hold on to his spot after impressive outings. 

X Factors: 

Glenn Maxwell: The Australian had a good start to the campaign and was on fire in the last game against Kolkata Knight Riders earlier this year. He had scores of 39, 59 and 78, and will be looking to return to his explosive best after a few quiet games. 

Probable XI: 

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

Head to Head record of KKR vs RCB: 

Overall: Overall, the two sides have faced each other on 27 occasions, with Kolkata having a lead of a game. They have won 14 games, while RCB have registered 13 victories. However, RCB have won the last four games against Kolkata, and will be high on confidence. 

Player matchups:

Virat Kohli vs Varun Chakravarthy: The RCB skipper does not have the best record against the mystery spinner, striking at a rate of just 83.33 against him in the last three innings. Varun had dismissed Kohli earlier this season, and Eoin Morgan could bowl him in the powerplay overs. 

Andre Russell vs Mohammad Siraj: The RCB bowler has been smashed for runs at a strike rate of nearing 243 by Andre Russell in 2019, but has staged a fine comeback. Earlier this season, when the two sides met, Russell could score at a strike rate of just 16.7 against him, with Siraj impressing with his yorkers at the death. 

Statistical Preview:

  • Bangalore’s lowest ever IPL total has come against Kolkata Knight Riders, way back in 2016. Their score of 49 all out is also the lowest ever total in the history of the Indian Premier League by any side. 
  • The form of spinner Yuzvendra Chahal will be a huge worry for RCB. The Indian has picked up just 4 wickets in 7 games at a strike rate of 34.50 and has leaked runs at an economy rate of 8.26. 
  • The top order for KKR has been a huge worry. The two two have scored runs at little over 125 in the powerplay overs, which is unacceptable in the format. 

Match prediction of KKR vs RCB: 

The RCB team have the edge over KKR in the last five games, but we can expect Kolkata to come back strongly after some harsh words by Brendom McCullum in the last game. 

MPL Fantasy XI: 

AB de Villiers, Dinesh Karthik, Glenn Maxwell, Devdutt Padikkal, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Andre Russell, Mohammad Siraj, Pat Cummins, Kyle Jamieson and Varun Chakravarthy

Captain and vice-captain selection:

AB de Villiers: The South African has scored 207 runs at a strike rate of an astonishing 164.28. He took away the game in the last game against KKR this season, and will be a player to watch out for again. 

Andre Russell: The big hitter scored a fine fifty in the last game, and has been striking at over 155. He has also picked up seven wickets with the ball.

Also Read: Bangalore vs Kolkata: Two inconsistent performers

Sarah Waris
A postgraduate in English Literature, I have taken on the tough task of limiting the mystic world of cricket to a few hundred words


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