Bengaluru: Down in the dumps after failing to win a single game from four attempts, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will have to put it across Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) to not drift further away when the two sides lock horns in an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash here on Friday.
RCB, who are yet to win the IPL despite having two of the best batsmen in world cricket in their ranks, have got off to a worst possible start this time. After four games, they are yet to win any and have also been poor in every department under India captain Virat Kohli.
Rooted to the foot of the points table, RCB were dismal on the field in their last match against fellow laggards Rajasthan Royals, dropping a number of catches at crucial junctures.
Royals recorded their first win against them as leggie Shreyas Gopal bowled brilliantly to dismiss Kohli and AB de Villiers with delectable googlies.
The famed pair have failed to get going so far with Kohli also looking out of sorts as far as his captaincy is concerned. Parthiv Patel got a defiant half-century the other day and the veteran stumper-batsman will look to carry forward his form against KKR as well.
In the bowling front also, RCB have been dismal with Sunrisers Hyderabad’s David Warner and Jonny Bairstow hitting them to every corner in their mammoth 118-run win.
In KKR, it won’t be easy for the hapless hosts to register their first win of the campaign. Although the visitors are coming off the back of a narrow defeat in the Super Over to Delhi Capitals, KKR have shown enough firepower in their armoury to unsettle any opposition on their day.
The threat of Andre Russell who has been swatting the cricket ball like a fly is always there besides the likes of Nitish Rana, Robin Uthappa and skipper Dinesh Karthik also being among runs.
KKR’s celebrated bowling line up will also look to cause the jittery RCB batting unit more trouble with Kuldeep Yadav, Sunil Narine and Piyush Chawla the three spinners that can cause damage.
In the head to head count too, KKR are ahead with 14 wins to RCB’s nine from 23 matches till date. Last year, the men in purple did the double over Kohli and Co.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (captain), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Joe Denly, Lockie Ferguson, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Harry Gurnley, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Sandeep Warrier, KC Cariappa, Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Shrikant Mundhe, Nikhil Naik, Anrich Nortje, Prithvi Raj, Prasidh Krishna.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel (WK), Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Heinrich Klaasen (WK), Moeen Ali, Colin de Grandhomme, Pawan Negi, Tim Southee, Akshdeep Nath, Milind Kumar, Devdutt Padikkal, Gurkeerat Singh, Prayas Ray Barman, Kulwant Kejroliya, Navdeep Saini, Himmat Singh.