We’ve reached the halfway stage of this season of the Indian Premier League and both of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders have under-delivered thus far. 3 wins and 3 losses for Kolkata, while Bangalore have just 2 wins thus far. This is a vital game for both teams and the rivalry between these two will ensure another good game of cricket.
KKR clearly have a more balanced side but they somehow find ways to lose matches in IPL 2018. On the other hand, Bangalore are a batting heavy side, that are losing because of their poor bowling. In their 6 games thus far, they have conceded 200+ totals thrice, and have lost all of those games.
RCB have a very strong top order with Kohli, de Kock and de Villiers in it. I usually wouldn’t put too much faith in their batting as they have always been over-reliant on Kohli and de Villiers, but now it’s good to see QdK striking good form while Mandeep Singh has also seemed to be hitting the ball well. However, their problems start and end in the bowling department.
In the reverse fixture between these two sides, Sunil Narine’s 19-ball fifty let KKR chase down 177 safely, so RCB will be looking to set in some plans against Narine. In that game, Nitish Rana dismissed the pair of Kohli and de Villiers off successive deliveries but those two will come prepared to take revenge if Rana is brought on again. The likes of Lynn, Russell and Narine may not be too comfortable with spin so you can expect Sundar, Chahal and Negi to have a vital role in this game.
After 4 games on this ground in IPL 2018, we’ve seen an average 1st innings total of 187.75, and the team chasing has won thrice. So the toss will be vital as captains will be looking to bowl first and restrict the opponents to anything below 180. Shivam Mavi & Mitchell Johnson were very expensive in the last game and Tom Curran could be a replacement for Johnson, while Prasidh Krishna could come in for Mavi.
While results have not been going Bangalore’s way, they certainly have been improving as a side. On the other hand, Kolkata’s star performers are slowly fizzling off, with only captain Dinesh Karthik seeming to be consistent. Both of RCB’s wins this here have come at home. Expect Bangalore to get their third win at home.
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