RCB vs KKR Eliminator IPL 2021 Preview: 11th Oct - Can Maxwell, de Villiers nullify KKR's Narine, Chakravarty threat?
Mystery spinners Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarty have been a nuisance for the opposition batters throughout IPL 2021.
KKR have the edge
When you ask a simple question, 'Who has the momentum on their side between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders going into the Eliminator?', you get a unanimous answer - Kolkata Knight Riders.
Despite Royal Challengers Bangalore pulling off a last-ball victory against Delhi Capitals in the last league match of IPL 2021, the way Kolkata Knight Riders have performed in the UAE leg of the tournament gives KKR the edge.
Kolkata registered a massive 86-run victory in their last league match against Rajasthan Royals. There were runs from the blade of openers Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer. Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi also chipped in. This Indian top 4 is the key to the Kolkata batting. And if Andre Russell hasn't yet fully recovered, Dinesh Karthik will play a major role in the death overs acceleration.
The stronger suit for Kolkata though is their bowling, led by Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy, who have been a nuisance for the opposition batters both in the middle overs and at the death.
Fit-again Lockie Ferguson and Shivam Mavi have also been doing a fine job. Shakib Al Hasan has impressed in the couple of opportunities that he has got.
RCB look towards de Villiers, Maxwell
Royal Challengers Bangalore are a much more well-balanced unit then they have been over the last few years. If AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell get the support of RCB's top 3 in Virat Kohli, Devdutt Padikkal and Srikar Bharat, they are capable of posting a challenging total.
At the same time, their bowlers, particularly Harshal Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, have done a great job of restricting the opposition.
KKR review Russell's fitness
In terms of playing XI, Kolkata Knight Riders will be more than happy to continue with the same team. If Andre Russell has regained full fitness - and he will be circumspect of playing if not fully fit given the upcoming T20 World Cup - he will replace Shakib Al Hasan.
Royal Challengers Bangalore can consider replacing George Garton with Kyle Jamieson but that remains a 50-50 call.
In all, Kolkata Knight Riders might hold the edge but they will have to be at their A game to get the better of this well-balanced RCC unit.
Predicted playing XIs
Kolkata Knight Riders - Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Srikar Bharat (wk), Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Dan Christian, Shahbaz Ahmed, George Garton/Kyle Jamieson, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal
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