IPL 2021, KKR vs RCB: Here is the match preview
The 31st match of 2021 Indian Premier League will see Kolkata Knight Riders taking on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. Like the previous season, KKR have been inconsistent this time as well. They occupy the seventh spot with just two wins. Meanwhile, the RCB are in the top-three with five wins. Here is the match preview.
A look at the head-to-head record
Kolkata have had the wood in the head-to-head meetings between the two teams. In 27 meetings, KKR have won 14 games so far. Meanwhile, RCB have pocketed 13 victories. They beat KKR earlier in the season. Glenn Maxwell (78) and AB de Villiers (76*) shone for RCB in the match. Interestingly, RCB have won four of the last five encounters against KKR.
Will Wanindu Hasaranga make an impact?
RCB have plenty of new resources for the remaining season. They are likely to include leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga in the Playing XI. He troubled the Indians on their recent tour of Sri Lanka. RCB will miss the services of Washington Sundar. Probable XI: Kohli (captain), Devdutt Padikkal, Maxwell, ABD (wicket-keeper), Rajat Patidar, Pavan Deshpande, Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Kyle Jamieson, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Siraj
KKR will miss the services of Pat Cummins
KKR would want to be more consistent in the second phase. The absence of Pat Cummins would certainly haunt them, however, Tim Southee's inclusion is a plus. Lockie Ferguson could be preferred over Southee, considering his express pace. Probable XI: Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (captain), Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Pitch report, conditions, and TV listing
The match will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium. It will begin at 7:30 PM IST. The track on this venue is deemed two-paced. Both pacers and spinners find success here. Meanwhile, the temperature in Abu Dhabi will be around 35 degree Celsius. One can watch the match live on the Star Sports Network and stream the same on the Hotstar app.
Here are the top performers
RCB skipper Kohli has amassed 730 runs from 27 games at a strike rate of 129.66 against KKR. In the bowling segment, Chahal has scalped 16 wickets with the best bowling performance of 3/16. Against RCB, Karthik owns 421 runs at a strike-rate of 116.29, while Narine has accounted for 16 wickets with the best match haul of 4/20.
Recap: What happened in the last encounter?
KKR and RCB also squared off in the first phase of IPL 2021 in India. RCB racked up a mammoth 204/4 after electing to bat. Maxwell smashed a 49-ball 78 after the RCB were reduced to 9/2. Meanwhile, ABD added the finishing touch with an unbeaten 76 (34). The RCB bowlers later restricted KKR to 166/8. Kyle Jamieson starred with three wickets.