KKR vs RCB IPL 2021 Preview - 20th Sept: Kohli-led RCB aim to extend dominance against stuttering Kolkata
New recruits Tim David, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera and George Garton will further bolster RCB's chances in IPL 2021.
RCB's bulk changes
RCB have had to make quite a lot of changes to their squad. While Tim David, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, George Garton and Akash Deep have come in, Finn Allen, Adam Zampa, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson and Washington Sundar are unavailable.
Royal Challengers Bangalore looked like the real deal during the first half of this IPL. It won't be beside the mark to suggest that this is the first time in many years that they really look in contention for the title. The main reason for their success was the good form of players other than Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers.
The likes of Harshal Patel, Glenn Maxwell and Devdutt Padikkal played their part in RCB winning five of their 7 matches.
Patel, Chahal find Hasaranga boost
Harshal Patel is currently the leading wicket taker in the IPL with 17 scalps at 15.11. It will be interesting to see whether or not his cutters work in the UAE. If he continues to be successful, it will be a huge lift for the Virat Kohli-led side.
The form of first-choice spinner Yuzvendra Chahal though has been a point of concern for Bangalore. The spinner has been left out of the Indian Squad for the T20 World Cup. However, he will take some heart from his performances in the UAE in IPL 2020.
It will be a delight to watch Wanindu Hasaranga and Chahal bowling in tandem. Hasaranga, while being one of the best T20 spinners in world cricket at the moment, can also handle himself with the bat and RCB certainly won't mind a few bonus runs.
Without Washington Sundar, the team's balance might take a hit and Shahbaz Ahmed will have to step up. Kyle Jamieson and Mohammed Siraj are their leading pacers.
Kolkata Knight Riders have had a disappointing run and find themselves at the seventh spot with two wins and five losses from 7 matches.
They will expect their Indian top 3 in Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi to not only score runs but do it at a fair clip, something coach Brendon McCullum has been quite vocal about. But, the team has several out-of-form players and an aggressive outlook won't be easy to achieve.
Captain Morgan's form a concern
Apart from the top order, Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik have also been struggling to make a mark. Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, who have won KKR several matches over the years, are also not at their best.
There will be expectations from Lockie Ferguson (who should ideally play all matches in the absence of Pat Cummins) and Varun Chakravarthy to pick up the bulk of wickets.
Predicted playing XIs
Kolkata Knight Riders - Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (capt), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Prasidh Krishna, Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (c), Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers (wk), Shahbaz Ahmed, Kyle Jamieson, Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendera Chahal
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