IPL 2018 Preview: Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders aim to get back to winning ways

Denzil Pinto 13:01 28/04/2018
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Man in form: AB de Villiers.

Royal Challengers Bangalore welcome Kolkata Knight Riders to the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday evening with both sides looking to bounce back from defeats in the IPL.

RCB fell to a dramatic five-wicket loss to Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday while Kolkata will not have had much time to digest their defeat to basement side Delhi Daredevils on Friday evening.

Here, we take a closer look at the contest.

RCB BOWLERS NEED TO STEP

Bangalore’s batsmen did their job with the bat by racking up 205 runs against Chennai Super Kings. You would think with a gigantic total that would be enough to win a match, especially when Chennai were 77-4. But, their bowlers crumbled under pressure to hand Chennai an extraordinary win. Virat Kohli was not afraid to mince his words post-match, describing the bowling as ‘criminal’.

Another poor performance with the ball will not be accepted especially at a time when they are sitting outside the play-off positions and victories are essential. Corey Anderson could well be dropped after his staggering 0-58 against Chennai with Tim Southee the possible man to be drafted in. The New Zealander is proven at the death and an experienced swing bowler. Alternatively, RCB could go back to England bowler Chris Woakes, who was dropped for the Chennai clash.

PLAYERS IN FOCUS

Kolkata have a real task on their hands to stop Bangalore’s top-order batsmen on their own patch. They kept them relatively quiet in their last meeting but since then AB De Villiers has been revelation for RCB. The South African has lit up the IPL with three half-centuries including two back-to-back (90* and 68). Kolkata will have to get him out quickly to stand a chance of winning otherwise he could well take the game away.

Robin Uthappa finds himself at No.3 with Sunil Narine opening the innings alongside Chris Lynn. As of yet, the Indian batsman has failed to convert his starts into big scores. 48 is his highest knock so far.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Quinton de Kock, AB De Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Colin de Grandhomme, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal, Tim Southee

Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (captain), Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Shivam Mavi, Piyush Chawla, Mitchell Johnson, Kuldeep Yadav

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