Indian Premier League, 2018

Kolkata Knight Riders  VS Royal Challengers Bangalore 

The Big Picture

So, here we are! After weeks of anticipation, analysis, and euphoria, the Indian Premier League is finally here. The 2018 season with all the subtle additions like DRS, Mid-season Transfer, is expected to be bigger and better.

On Sunday, Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in a high voltage clash at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Where: Eden Gardens, Kolkata

When: 08 April 2018, 8:00 PM

Pitch Conditions

A newly relaid pitch at the Eden Gardens two seasons ago, the wicket has seen a significant departure from its slow, sluggish nature and has proceeded to help the seam bowlers. RCB getting bowled out for 49 against the likes of Coulter-Nile and Woakes bore a testimony to the aforementioned fact.

Team Analysis and Preview

Royal Challengers Bangalore

 The Good

Always boasting of a power-packed batting line-up led by Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, the key for the RCB think-tank heading into the IPL auctions was to plug holes in their lower middle-order as well as their bowling department.

While they have managed to plug holes as far their lower-middle order is concerned, by getting in the likes of de Grandhomme and Chris Woakes and Mandeep Singh, who is coming off an outstanding Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy.

While they have a power-packed batting line-up, one thing that stands out is RCB’s rich stocks as-far-as spin bowling is concerned. In Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal, they have an orthodox as well as a wrist-spinner who can bamboozle any batsmen with their guile and variety.

The teenage sensation has made heads turn with his consistent performances both in domestic as well as International cricket.  A classical off-spinner, Sundar’s biggest strength is his penchant for bowling the dirty (Read: Powerplay and death) overs. Sundar will resume his partnership with Chahal, a pair that had proceeded to create a stranglehold on the opposition in the recently concluded Nidahas Trophy.

The Bad

One major chink that is still difficult to ignore as far as RCB is concerned is their fast-bowling stokes. They initially took Nathan Coulter Nile, Chris Woakes, Tim Southee, and Umesh Yadav.

They have already been dealt with a severe blow when Coulter Nile was ruled out of the squad, and it will be crucial how the likes of Woakes and Yadav step-up, and the way they perform will define RCB’s campaign this year.

Probable XI:

Parthiv Patel (wk), Brendon McCullum, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Colin De Grandhomme, Washington Sundar, Chris Woakes, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Siraj

Kolkata Knight Riders

The good

The two-time IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders will be without the skipper that had to lead them to glory from the brink of wilderness, Gautam Gambhir, as they brace themselves for a new era under the leadership of Dinesh Karthik.

KKR retained the likes of Narine, Russel, Piyush Chawla and Robin Utthappa as a part of their perennial core. While they invested half of their budget in four overseas options in Chris Lynn, Starc (replaced now with Tom Curran), Russell and Narine, they have invested in the youth as well in Shubhman Gill and Kamlesh Nagarkoti.

The Bad

Starc already injured, Russel picked up an injury during PSL, Narine’s action conundrum and the perennial injury problems of Chris Lynn, it will be interesting to see whether the guys on whom KKR has heavily invested in, and it might just go on to define their campaign this year.

Probable XI: 

Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa (wk), Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik (capt), Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Ishan Jaggi, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Mitchell Johnson, Vinay Kumar/ Kamlesh Nagarkoti

Where to watch Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore?

The viewers can watch the match live on Star Sports 1/HD and can also live stream the match on Hotstar.com