KKR vs RCB has always been an interesting fixture in the IPL over the years. The Royal Challengers Bangalore acquisition of all the bowlers who dismissed them for 49 runs in the last edition has added to the spice of the contest.
RCB has completely overhauled their bowling line up and KKR go in with Dinesh Karthik at their helm after bidding goodbye to Gautam Gambhir.
With the arrival of Brendon Mccullum and Quinton de Kock, Kohli has announced he’ll be playing at number 3 this year. This would provide the much needed balance to the RCB batting line up and they look like a force to reckon with. They have probably the most balanced squad this year.
Bowling has always been their Achilles heel but they seem to have sorted that out with the acquisitions of Washington Sundar, Chris Woakes and Umesh Yadav.
KKR on the other hand are looking the post Gautam Gambhir era. After leading the side to 2 IPL titles Gautam Gambhir has left for his home side Delhi. Kolkata loved Gambhir as one of their own and they’ll need to support to the new commander in chief, Dinesh Karthik in the same way.
KKR have invested heavily in youth by selecting three youngsters from the World Cup winning Indian under 19 squad. However Starc’s injury has left a huge void in their bowling line up.
They have swiftly replaced him with Englishman Tom Curran but it’s not a like to like replacement. Even Karthik admits Starc’s absence will be a factor as he is the one the best bowlers in the world across formats.
Head to Head:
KKR just edge the RCB in the head to head by 11-9 but where today’s game tilts is anyone’s guess right now. It would be interesting to see what kind of a pitch we get to see at the Eden Gardens.
After the slow and sluggish pitches in the past they might go for a lively pitch this time with the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti in the KKR squad.
KKR predicted 11 : Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Shubman Gill, Mitchell Johnson, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Vinay Kumar.
RCB predicted 11 : Quinton De Kock, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Manan Vohra, Sarfaraz Khan, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Tim Southee, Mohd Siraj.
Case 1: If KKR bat first
KKR will score 160-180 runs
RCB win by 4-5 wickets
Case 2: If RCB bat first
RCB will score 150-170 runs
KKR win by 2-3 wickets