Kolkata Knight Riders had a great start to VIVO IPL 2018 with a comfortable win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at Eden Gardens in their opening match. Now the battle between the two arch-rivals has shifted to M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru. Two losses in a row against KXIP and DD has brought KKR to fourth position on the points-table. RCB, on the other hand will look to take advantage of playing at home on Sunday (April 29) night’s clash.
Kolkata Knight Riders - Finding the right balance
Going by the form in the last few matches, our Knights still have a lot to prove. We were off-colour in all three departments, and it was pointed out by our skipper, Dinesh Karthik after the loss against Delhi Daredevils. Spin-trio of Narine, Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav have been great so far, but over-relying on spin has been a factor in our defeats with the fast bowlers not picking wickets.
While KKR will look to pick their best playing XI; the short boundaries of Chinnaswamy stadium will make our skipper, DK and the team management to take a tough call or two with the bowling attack. Along with this, the form of the openers will be a concern as well. Plenty to think for the men in Purple & Gold against Virat Kohli and Co.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Strong Batting Unit, death bowling a concern
Virat Kohli-led RCB are having another tough year in VIVO IPL 2018. On paper, it is one heck of a team. Likes of AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Quinton de Kock and Mandeep Singh can make any bowling attack look petty when they are on song. But their batting line-up is not what concerns them. It’s their bowling unit that has time and again failed to perform when it matters the most.
Chris Woakes might find himself in the playing eleven replacing Corey Anderson, who was taken apart by Chennai Super Kings’ batsmen in their last match. With Colin de Grandhomme and Umesh Yadav, the RCB’s fast bowlers will have to stay put and deliver for the home team in the death overs which they have failed to do so far.
The two teams have played 21 IPL matches against each other with KKR leading the head to head record (W/L: 12:9) against the home team. But a lot has changed from the past. The venue itself is something that defines why cricket has become a batsmen’s sport. Chinnaswamy stadium is a big-hitter’s paradise, and has the most number of IPL matches (10 innings) where number of sixes is more than fours.
In three matches played at the home of RCB, the average first innings total is 188/6, while average winning score while batting first is 217/4. So anything around 200 runs in 1st innings should be what both teams will be looking at, and that too is chaseable.
Head to head
Overall: Matches - 21
Won by Kolkata Knight Riders - 12
Won by Royal Challengers Bangalore - 9
Last 5 games
Won by KKR - 4
Won by RCB - 1
Last time we played RCB was in our opening game of VIVO IPL 2018 at Eden Gardens. It was an all-round performance that helped us cross the finishing line. Nitish Rana’s two big wickets of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in one over changed the course of the game, and our batters did the rest.
29 April 2018, 20:00 (IST), M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.