This IPL has seen many inspiring performances so far, and arguably the best one was Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) thrashing of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
In Eden Gardens, the pace trio of Nathan Coulter-Nile, Colin deGrandhomme and Chris Woakes rampaged through the RCB batting lineup and the star-studded lineup got bundled out for a record-breaking 49. These two sides will meet once again today at Bangalore and the teams are on different sides of the spectrum. While Bangalore have already been knocked out of the title race, the Knight Riders are aiming for a top two finish. Naturally, the onus will be on the visitors to put up a good show and emerge victorious in this clash.
The home side continued to struggle, and lost another game against Kings XI Punjab in their last match. Everyone in the RCB batting lineup failed miserably and they could not chase 139 successfully. Kohli was clearly disappointed with his team’s batting display and said that they found it hard to get some motivations to produce their best.
Knight Riders, on the other hand, hit a blow during the last two outings after enjoying a happy ride earlier. They lost back to back matches against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rising Pune Supergiant. As a consequence, Gambhir’s boys slipped to the third spot in the league table. Should they lose against RCB, it might be very difficult for them to secure a top two finish in the group league. And then, they will get only one shot in the qualifiers to reach the finals of IPL 2017.
The hosts have been experimenting a lot with their set of foreigners and they might do it once again. Travis Head can walk into the team today at the expense of Chris Gayle who failed to bring out his best this season. The other players, however, should retain their places in the starting eleven.
On the other hand, Knight Riders will be boosted by the return of their star batsman Chris Lynn. Although the team management said that they will make a decision about the opener only before the match, it looks like Lynn will make a comeback on Sunday. And with Coulter-Nile injured and doubtful, this would be an automatic choice for Gambhir. On the other hand, Piyush Chawla may also get a call to strengthen the bowling department.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Travis Head, Mandeep Singh, Virat Kohli (C), AB De Villiers, Kedar Jadhav (WK), Shane Watson, Pawan Negi, Samuel Badree, Aniket Choudhury, Sreenath Aravind, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Gautam Gambhir (C), Chris Lynn, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Sheldon Jackson (WK), Colin deGrandhomme, Chris Woakes, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav.
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