Royal Challengers Bangalore have some hard-hitting batsmen in their line-up but a weak bowling attack evens things out as they take on defending champions Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens.
Bangalore will be relying heavily on their batting heavyweights – captain Virat Kohli, marauding opener Chris Gayle and the versatile AB de Villiers – to try and stop the Knight Riders juggernaut which is on a 10-match winning streak.
Gautam Gambhir’s side began their IPL title defence with a clinical win against the Mumbai Indians.
In that match, South African pacer Morne Morkel (2/18) gave them the perfect start and while chasing Gambhir (57), Manish Pandey (40) and Suryakumar Yadav (46 not out) contributed well in seven-wicket win while chasing 169.
— Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) April 11, 2015
Kolkata also have wily spinner Sunil Narine up their sleeve and that makes them a much more balanced side compared to Bangalore.
The Royal Challengers have three big star names in their batting department but that is rarely enough.
What will add to their woes this time is absence of the injured fast bowlers Mitchell Starc of Australia and Kiwi Adam Milne.
The onus will therefore be on India fast bowler Varun Aaron to lead the attack with Australian seamer Sean Abbott.
“It’s sad that Mitch is injured and so is Milne. So it’s up to the domestic bowlers to step up,” said Aaron at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) April 11, 2015
“At the moment there is no pressure (in the absence of Starc and Milne). I just think it’s an added responsibility. So it’s just the way you look at it. At the same time, it can be pressure or at the same time it can be responsibility.”
Fans can also look forward to a battle within the battle when South Africa pace ace Morkel takes on compatriot de Villiers, while Narine will also look to out-smart Gayle, something Kolkata will actually be praying for .
Narine went wicket-less in his comeback match against Mumbai and KKR will be hoping the Trinidadian gets back in the groove again.
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