IPL 2018: Match Preview Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
As the Indian Premier League (IPL) moves to the city of joy for the third match of the season, it remains to be seen if there will be joy at the end of this match for the home team, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) as they face up against the perennial underachievers in the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
If one rolls back the clock by eleven years, it was in this very fixture, then the first ever game of the IPL, that Brendon McCullum smashed 158 not out against RCB, representing KKR. Come Sunday, he will be representing the team against which he recorded his highest ever T20 score!
KKR have a new captain in Dinesh Karthik, who is not new to facing challenges! He has only recently come back into the national side thanks to consistent scores with the bat. However, it will require a herculean effort from him and his senior pros to make Kolkata dream of having a decent campaign. With just 19 players in the squad, an injury free season will be a must for them!
RCB on the other hand have covered bases and have snapped up a few important players like Washington Sundar and Chris Woakes to give them some much needed bowling strength. Even though Woakes was not at his best in the recently concluded series against England, RCB will need him to fire with both bat and ball.
Kolkata’s batting looks weak and will be dependent on Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn and Karthik to do the bulk of their scoring while Bangalore have quite a few big names in skipper Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Quinton de Kock and Colin de Grandhomme, who should edge out his fellow Kiwi, Corey Anderson.
Come to the bowling and one might think that KKR have more variety to their attack, given the presence of Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Mitchell Johnson. However, it will be the likes of Andre Russell, Vinay Kumar and Kamlesh Nagarkoti who will have to provide strong enough performances to get the desired results. While Bangalore have two quality spinners in Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal, they will need Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj to remain consistent and not give easy runs to the Kolkata batsmen.
Kolkata have a strong fan base at the Eden Gardens, but it is easy to silence them when things don’t go their way. From the looks of the squad, it could be one of those quieter evenings at the Gardens!
Kolkata Knight Riders - Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Robin Uthappa, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Vinay Kumar, Mitchell Johnson, Kuldeep Yadav, Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Brendon McCullum - Quinton de Kock (wk), Manan Vohra, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Sarfraz Khan, Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj.
- Brendon McCullum is eight runs short of 9000 T20 career runs
- In nine matches last season, AB de Villiers only managed 216 runs at an average of 27, his lowest in since IPL 2010 where he only managed 111 runs from seven matches
- The six games played by Piyush Chawla last season, are the least number of matches he has ever featured in for a particular season, since the inception of the IPL. His previous lowest were the 12 matches he played in the 2016 edition.
April 8, 2018
20:00 hours IST
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
© Cricket World 2018