Ahmedabad, May 2 (IANS) The well-oiled and batting-heavy Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will take on a struggling Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) match here at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Monday night.
RCB, who sit pretty with 10 points from five wins in seven games, have however been struggling in recent games. They have lost two out of their last three matches, the latest against Punjab Kings by 34 runs on Friday night.
KKR, on the other hand, have won just two out of their seven matches and have odds stacked heavily against them.
The first match between the two sides this season was won convincingly by a margin of 38 runs by the Virat Kohli-led side.
The key battle to watch out for in the match will be between KKR’s Australia pace bowler Pat Cummins and the RCB batting geniuses AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell.
Both AB and Maxwell fell cheaply in their last match, to Punjab Kings left-arm spinner Harpreet Brar. It was a rare failure for the two, who have carried RCB ahead with their power-hitting.
The Kolkata franchise may look to save Cummins’s overs for the back-end as Maxwell bats at No. 4 and AB comes in at No. 5.
KKR too have got some good quality spin bowlers who they can use upfront but it will be the Aussie pace bowler, ranked No. 1 in ICC Test cricket rankings, who they will depend on to get rid of RCB’s talismanic batting duo.
The Eoin Morgan-led team is facing problems of their own in batting. The top-order has been inconsistent and hasn’t done enough to provide platform to the lower-order power-hitters.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Tim Seifert (wicketkeeper), Rahul Tripathi, Rinku Singh, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Eoin Morgan (captain), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Varun CV, Kuldeep Yadav, Pat Cummins, Lockie Ferguson, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Shakib Al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Karun Nair, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer, Pawan Negi.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Devdutt Padikkal, Finn Allen (wicketkeeper), AB de Villiers (wicketkeeper), Pavan Deshpande, Washington Sundar, Daniel Sams, Yuzvendra Chahal, Scott Kuggeleijn, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Harshal Patel, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kyle Jamieson, Daniel Christian, Suyash Prabhudessai, K.S. Bharat.