IPL 2020 Match 39 Preview: KKR vs RCB - With Narine available, selection headache for Morgan against balanced Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore should be thankful to AB de Villiers for pulling them out of deep holes a couple of times.
Due to ABD's brilliance, Bangalore are currently well placed at the third spot with 12 points after nine matches, at par with Mumbai Indians.
RCB getting good starts
RCB have found the right combination. Devdutt Padikkal, despite struggling in the last match against Rajasthan Royals, has been giving the team consistent starts though there are issues with the tempo of his innings at times. Aaron Finch has blown a bit hot and cold but has done enough to retain his place in the side.
Virat Kohli, to be honest, has not been at his best but has still managed to be the top run scorer for his side, scoring runs at an average of over 55, but his usual rhythm is missing. AB de Villiers has single-handedly won Bangalore a couple of matches.
The ABD show
Even in their last game against Rajasthan, when their bowlers leaked a few runs and Bangalore had to chase an above-par 178-run target on a sluggish pitch in Dubai, they had fallen behind in the game.
Given the big boundaries on one side and the pitch in Dubai, it was a difficult place to be when they required 35 runs off the last two overs, but when AB de Villiers fires, all these things hardly matter. De Villiers turned the game on its head, taking Jaydev Unadkat for three consecutive sixes in the penultimate over and then finished it off with a massive swipe off Jofra Archer.
Gurkeerat Singh Mann also played his part and stayed in the game with de Villiers, which is a good sign for Bangalore. They still had the likes of Washington Sundar, Chris Morris, Shahbaz Ahmed and Isuru udana to come, which suggests that they have their batting line-up sorted.
Plenty of options for RCB
With the ball as well, Washington Sundar has been generally taking the new ball and his poweplay bowling has been brilliant. The inclusion of Chris Morris has changed the outlook of the team as Bangalore are now looking a lot more balanced.
Navdeep Saini, after one bad game, has bounced back impressively, with Yuzvendra Chahal playing his part as well.
KKR look shaky
They will face Kolkata Knight Riders who have been short of their best and although they took two points in their last encounter against Sunrisers Hyderabad, they came via a super over.
Will KKR include Narine at Cummins' expense?
Shubman Gill has been too slow to get off the blocks for Kolkata which is why they haven't been able to get an impetus into their innings. Andre Russell has also disappointed. Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik remain the key players for Kolkata in the middle order.
With Lockie Ferguson having rejuvenated their bowling attack in the last game and Sunil Narine available for selection now, it is a quandary for the KKR management. Will Pat Cummins have to 'rest'?
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR): Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan(c), Dinesh Karthik(wk), Andre Russell, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins/Sunil Narine, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Kuldeep Yadav
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers(wk), Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Washington Sundar, Chris Morris, Shahbaz Ahmed, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal
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