Kolkata Knight Riders will pin hopes on the spin duo of Harbhajan Singh and Varun Chakrovarty. Courtesy: Twitter
After winning two out of their first two matches, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) would look to make it three out of three when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders (RCB) in their next encounter at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Spin will be a crucial weapon again for RCB as KKR showed their inability to cope with spin in their previous match against Mumbai Indians, giving away four wickets to leg-spinner Rahul Chahar. RCB left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed played a crucial role on a sticky pitch in the match against SunRisers Hyderabad as he made the ball turn and forced the SRH batsmen to throw away their wickets.
With KKR also possessing a very strong spin bowling line-up, the performance of spinners from the two sides could very well decide the course of Sunday’s first match.
This will also be the first match of this season to be played in the afternoon and have a 3.30 pm start. Naturally, the dew factor will not come into play.
On the contrary, the latter part of the match could see the ball swing as the temperature dips.
RCB skipper Virat Kohli, who has got identical scores of 33 (29 balls) in the first two matches, will look to get his first half-century of the season.
RCB will come into the match on the back of consecutive wins while KKR will look to bounce and bring their campaign on track after losing their last match against mighty Mumbai.
Kolkata faltered in the chase of a mediocre 152, as Chahar ripped through their
batting line-up to hand Mumbai a deserving win.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see KKR captain Eoin Morgan, who employed his spinners to bowl five of the first six overs against MI, use spin early against the opening duo of Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal, both of whom relish the ball coming onto the bat. Bangalore batsmen are in their prime form with Kohli due to play a big innings.
KKR: 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.
RCB: Virat Kohli (captain), Devdutt Padikkal, Finn Allen (wicket-keeper), AB de Villiers (wicket-keeper), Pavan Deshpande, Washington Sundar, Daniel Sams, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa, Shahbaz Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Kane Richardson, Harshal Patel, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kyle Jamieson, Daniel Christian, Suyash Prabhudessai, K.S. Bharat
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