IPL 2021, KKR vs RCB: Virat Kohli elects to bat
Kolkata Knight Riders are taking on the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 31st match of the IPL 2021 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi. RCB skipper Virat Kohli has won the toss and elected to bat in the second encounter of the UAE leg. Notably, Kohli is playing his 200th match in the cash-rich league. Here are further details.
A look at the key details
The wicket at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium usually favors both batsmen and bowlers. Fast bowlers are able to garner decent movement, while spinners operate well in the middle phase. There are minimal chances of rain in the impending match. One can watch the match live on the Star Sports Network and stream the same on the Hotstar app.
Here is the head-to-head record
Kolkata are slightly ahead of Bangalore in the head-to-head encounters. 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.
200th match for Kohli in the IPL
RCB skipper Virat Kohli is set to play his 200th match in the IPL, the fifth player to do so. MS Dhoni (212), Rohit Sharma (207), Dinesh Karthik (203), and Suresh Raina (201) are the others to have attained this feat. Kohli is the leading run-scorer and the only player with over 6,000 runs in the tournament.
Kohli will step down as RCB captain after this season
Kohli will step down as the captain of RCB after the 2021 IPL season. The 32-year-old made the announcement on Sunday. The development came days after Kohli announced that he will leave India's T20I captaincy post the T20 WC. Kohli remains the only player to represent only one IPL team since the first season. However, he is still devoid of an IPL trophy.
Here are the teams
Kolkata Knight Riders (Playing XI): Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (captain), Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna. Royal Challengers Bangalore (Playing XI): Virat Kohli (captain), Devdutt Padikkal, Srikar Bharat, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers (wicket-keeper), Wanindu Hasaranga, Sachin Baby, Kyle Jamieson, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal.
A look at the three debutants
As many as three players are playing their maiden IPL match. The RCB have handed maiden caps to KS Bharat and Wanindu Hasaranga. Wicket-keeper-batter, Bharat, was picked by the RCB in this year's auction, while Sri Lanka's leg-spinner Hasaranga was roped in as a replacement for Adam Zampa. Meanwhile, all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer is set to make his debut for KKR.