IPL 2018, RCB vs KKR: Predicted XI for Kolkata Knight Riders for their game in Bangalore
Kolkata Knight Riders have had a stop-start kind of a tournament so far. They have won 3 and lost 4 and thus, they are at the fourth position on the points table.
After winning a couple of back-to-back matches, KKR have now lost two on the bounce. Their last game was quite a bad one as they conceded more than 200 runs and failed to reach the 170-mark as well and lost by 55 runs. But they will now face Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Sunday (April 30).
KKR will be looking to bounce back and get back to winning ways. Thus, let’s have a look at the how KKR might line up against RCB.
Despite his patchy form, Chris Lynn will continue to open the batting for KKR. The teams have planned well against him and introduced spin early as well. He has clearly struggled against the spinners and has got out 4 times to them in this season. But everyone knows how destructive he can be and hence KKR will be hoping he can come good and help them get off to a flier.
Sunil Narine has been inconsistent at the top of the order. But he’s being used as a pinch hitter and the experiment has worked at times. Hence, he will continue to partner Lynn. And the last time Narine played at the Chinnaswamy, he smashed the RCB bowlers all around the park and registered the fastest IPL fifty (which was broken by KL Rahul this year).
Robin Uthappa has looked good in patches and he’s had a stop-start season himself. He has got some good starts but has failed to kick on. His form is critical for KKR to do well and the team will be hoping that the Karnataka player can turn up and perform on his home ground.
Nitish Rana had a wonderful start to the IPL, getting runs with the bat and contributing with the ball as well. However, in the last couple of games, he’s failed and has got out for single-digit scores. The 2017 IPL was a similar one for the Delhi batsman where he had an excellent started and then tapered away towards the end. KKR will be hoping that it does not repeat this time around.
Dinesh Karthik has been leading the side quite well. He’s made some brilliant tactical changes and has marshalled his troops well. With the bat, he’s been quite consistent and has more often than not delivered when the team required. However, in 7 innings, he hasn’t crossed the 50-run mark even once. But he has finished off a couple of games for KKR and has remained unbeaten till the end.
Shubman Gill has not had the best of starts to his IPL career. He scored 3, 6 and 14 (not out) in his first three innings and then scored a fluent 37 in the last game when the team was in trouble chasing a big score. Despite not having a big score to his name, the team management has backed the Under-19 star batsman and he is likely to continue to play in the middle-order.
Andre Russell has already shown what he is capable off in this tournament. He’s already hit 23 sixes in the tournament which is the joint-most in this season. However, there have been injury scares as he went off the field while bowling his second over in the KXIP game. However, Russell has come back well and looks fit. He is a vital part of the team and can single-handedly win games for the team.
Tom Curran will likely come back into the XI after Mitchell Johnson’s disappointing outing in the last game where he went for over 10 runs an over. Curran might not have done very well but he is a very good death bowler and KKR can entrust him with the responsibility at the death.
Piyush Chawla has more often than not opened the bowling this year and has done decently. He’s taken 6 wickets (in 7 games) in this tournament so far. His economy also isn’t too bad (7.95) which is the best in the team after Sunil Narine and Nitish Rana. Chawla also has a good record at the Chinnaswamy where he has picked up 15 wickets in 11 games in IPL cricket.
Kuldeep Yadav has also taken 6 wickets in the tournament so far but has been expensive as he has an economy rate of 8.50 in this season. He’s been attacked by most batsmen and thus he needs to come up with plans to counter that. But with the Chinnaswamy pitch offering some turn, Kuldeep might play a crucial role for KKR.
Shivam Mavi has disappointed in the 5 games he has played and with Vinay Kumar leaking a lot of runs in the first few games, KKR might go in with Prasidh Krishna who was brought in as the replacement for the injured Kamlesh Nagarkoti. Krishna is the local boy as he plays for Karnataka in domestic cricket and if he gets a look in, he will try to impress and cement his spot in the XI.