KKR vs RCB Preview: Knight Riders look to continue winning streak, Bangalore seek winning start
KKR vs RCB is classic box office stuff. Matches between these two sides have been nothing short of blockbusters in their own right. If their first games are anything to go by, expect a sizzling encounter on the cards.
The head-to-head record between the sides suggests just as much. 16-13 in KKR's favour with two wins, which included the eliminator, out of three games last season.
KKR started their season under new captain Shreyas Iyer on a winning note in the tournament opener against the defending champions on Saturday. Umesh Yadav, with figures of 2-20, had a starring role with the ball before Ajinkya Rahane's 44 helped overhaul a target of 132 with six wickets and nine balls to spare.
RCB, on the other hand, are hunting for their first win, having lost to Punjab Kings on Sunday despite a strong batting effort that saw them post 205.
As evidenced from RCB's last rubber at DY Patil Stadium, there are boundaries to be scored down the ground with shorter straight boundaries. Expect plenty of fireworks.
Yadav enjoyed a dream spell on his return to KKR colours. He found enough swing and seam movement to keep the Chennai Super Kings' batters on their toes. With Faf du Plessis and Anuj Rawat circumspect in their approach in the powerplay against Punjab Kings' quicks, Yadav and Shivam Mavi will be keen to get the new ball talking.
Du Plessis (88 off 57) led Royal Challengers Bangalore's charge with the bat in their first game before former-KKR wicket-keeper batter Dinesh Karthik wreaked havoc at the death. Throw the talismanic Virat Kohli in the mix and it's a lethal top order.
Andre Russell is set to play his 400th T20 game and enjoys batting against RCB. Nobody has struck at a higher strike rate than his 215.12 in 12 matches against them.
However, a focal point for both sides would be their death bowling concerns. If the Knight Riders conceded 48 off 20 against a rampant MS Dhoni-Ravindra Jadeja duo, the Royal Challengers gave away 46 off 18 balls in their defense for the Punjab Kings to win with an over to spare.
KKR have a 100% win record at the venue, although the last of those two games came eleven years ago and will be looking to keep it intact.
KKR: Shreyas Iyer (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rinku Singh, Aaron Finch, Abhijeet Tomar, Ramesh Kumar, Pratham Singh, Sam Billings, Sheldon Jackson, Baba Indrajith, Pat Cummins, Mohammad Nabi, Nitish Rana, Shivam Mavi, Anukul Roy, Chamika Karunaratne, Aman Khan, Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer, Umesh Yadav, Rasikh Salam, Tim Southee, Ashok Sharma, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy.
RCB: Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Karthik, Josh Hazlewood, Shahbaz Ahmed, Anuj Rawat, Akash Deep, Mahipal Lomror, Finn Allen, Sherfane Rutherford, Jason Behrendorff, Suyash Prabhudessai, Chama Milind, Aneeshwar Gautam, Karn Sharma, David Willey, Luvnith Sisodia, Siddharth Kaul