Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Resurgent KKR look to rain on RCB's parade. The Bangalore side will be hoping Kohli's RCB captaincy stint continues for a little longer
The Bangalore side will be hoping Kohli's RCB captaincy stint continues for a little longer
After two years of hurt, Kolkata Knight Riders finally have a chance at IPL glory. To be fair, they've earned a right to be in the Eliminator after leaving a lot to be desired during the Indian leg of the IPL 2021. Their opponents – Royal Challengers Bangalore – too have had their fair share of ups and downs. There was a period where they lost three consecutive matches – one in India and two in the UAE – but they also had a shot at making the top two before their hopes were dashed by Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Both sides come into the game with a point to prove. KKR were hammered by Virat Kohli's men last year but this time around they also responded by keeping RCB to just 92 in Abu Dhabi. This could well be Kohli's final match as RCB captain and that's a dangerous prospect. It gives the players the additional hunger to ensure Kohli steps down from the position with a title in hand. For KKR, it's crucial they seize the moments because the hurt of being eliminated after making the playoffs will be much greater than what they've become accustomed to experiencing.
When: RCB vs KKR, Eliminator, October 11, 6pm local time, 730pm IST.
Where: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
What to expect: Both teams have a different template to tackle the tricky conditions in Sharjah. KKR head coach Brendon McCullum feels six-hitting is the way forward in UAE's smallest venue. RCB might look to play it steady up front and let their big guns do the damage as the innings progresses. The pitch will again be tough to score on with plenty of assistance for the bowlers but both RCB and KKR have proved it's a track where 160 can be made and defended.
Head To Head: RCB 13 – 15 KKR. KKR's UAE turnaround started when they hammered both Mumbai Indians and RCB. Kohli's side aren't likely to ponder over the shocker they had earlier against Eoin Morgan's men.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Injured/Unavailable: RCB have their whole pool of players to pick from.
Tactics & Matchups: AB de Villiers has been dismissed thrice this IPL by left-arm spinners and has scored just 21 runs from the 27 balls he's faced. If Andre Russell isn't fit, Shakib al Hasan will be a key matchup against de Villiers especially considering the track. The clash could also be decided how RCB handle the duo of Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine. The latter smashes them at 200 with the bat in hand and has an economy of 6.63 with the ball in hand. KKR have bossed the middle overs so far in UAE with most wickets also have the lowest runs per wicket and the balls per dismissal. Over to you Glenn Maxwell to brake those shackles.
Probable XI: Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Srikar Bharat (wk), Daniel Christian, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Shahbaz Ahmed, Harshal Patel, George Garton, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Injured/Unavailable: Ahead of their final league match against Rajasthan Royals, Russell had a fitness test and will be pushing hard to be fit for the playoffs. It'll be interesting to see if KKR risk a not 100 per cent fit Russell in place of Shakib.
Tactics & Matchups: RCB have bagged just one wicket in the powerplay in the seven matches in UAE. If the rut continues, it's crucial Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer make the most of it and give the middle order a platform to launch from. Meanwhile, Maxwell has scored four fifties in the last five matches. With both Kohli and Padikkal struggling in UAE, the onus will be on the all-rounder to hurt KKR, especially during the middle overs.
Probable XI: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shakib Al Hasan/Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakaravarthy
Did you know?
– This will be the first instance of RCB playing KKR in IPL knockouts/playoffs.
– Narine has played nine playoff matches and has struggled at the business end of the tournament. He's picked just four wickets and has an average of 8.60 with the bat in hand.
What they said:
“We want to focus on doing small things right. All are matchwinners. That is the kind of ability we have. We've been doing well, on any day, everyone is ready to do well” – KS Bharat.