Two-time Indian Premier League Champions Kolkata Knight Riders are all set to have a go against arch-rival Royal Challengers Bangalore in their VIVO IPL opener at Eden Gardens tonight. The visiting side were bowled out at 49 inside 10 overs the last time they played here. This was the lowest score in the IPL and the memory is still fresh in everyone’s minds. Not to rest on their past laurels, our Knights will look to start their campaign on a winning note.
KKR have won all their opening matches in IPL since 2013 and will look to continue the same momentum and aim for a perfect start this time around too. Under the leadership of Dinesh Karthik, the team looks rock solid and with the enigmatic all-rounder Andre Russell back in the squad, tomorrow’s match is expected to be a smasher of a game. The hard-hitting opener Chris Lynn is pushing himself in the nets and will look to do what he does best! With three U-19 Champions in Shubman Gill, Kamlesh Nagarkoti & Shivam Mavi, the rejuvenated squad will be hungry to taste success in the competitive league.
In the RCB camp, all eyes will be on two of their marquee players - Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers. Kohli-led RCB had an unfortunate night last time they were in Eden Gardens but they’ll look to put on a strong fight. What may delight them is the fact that all four KKR bowlers who were responsible for their collapse last time (Nathan Coulter-Nile, Colin De Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Chris Woakes) were initially a part of their squad. Corey Anderson replaced Coulter-Nile in the squad as the Aussie pacer was ruled out due to an injury. RCB surely has plenty of options to pick from their 24 man-squad with rich variety of domestic talent at their disposal.
Eden Gardens has always brought the best out of our Knights. Out of 58 matches at home, we’ve won 37, which also happens to be the best winning percentage among any other IPL team playing in their respective home venues. In the last match against RCB last year, Sunil Narine went berserk with his 15 ball half-century, a joint-best feat in the history of IPL.
Head to Head
Overall: Matches – 20
Won by Kolkata Knight Riders – 11
Won by Royal Challengers Bangalore – 9
At Eden Gardens
Matches – 8
Won by Kolkata Knight Riders – 5
Won by Royal Challengers Bangalore – 3
Last 5 games
Won by KKR - 3
Won by RCB - 2
8 April 2018, 20:00 Hrs (IST), Eden Gardens, Kolkata