When we think of a Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) versus Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) encounter, recent memories would likely take us back to Andre Russell demolishing the RCB bowling unit in 2019.
However, a lot of things have changed since then, with the Royal Challengers' bowling unit having performed incredibly well this year. On the flip side, the Knight Riders have endured a highly inconsistent season and have even changed captains mid-season, with Eoin Morgan having taken over the reins from Dinesh Karthik.
KKR have managed to win five out of their nine games, and though they haven't looked in top form, they are well placed at the fourth position on the IPL 2020 points table.
Today, they will be coming up against a formidable RCB unit, one that has not lost more than one game in succession this year. In the earlier meeting between these two sides this season, KKR received an 82-run walloping from RCB, and the Knights will be looking to exact revenge.
And although RCB are looking in fine form this season, there are still some chinks in the Virat Kohli-led side's armour which KKR might look to expose today.
Here are three such things KKR might want to approach in order to beat RCB -
#1) Attack RCB bowlers at the death
The common mistake that batsmen have made against RCB this year is that they've tried to attack the RCB bowlers right from the onset. Though they may have had temporary success, it has always been short-lived.
Washington Sundar and Chris Morris, considering the kind of form they're in, have been able to pick up the wickets of aggressors, ultimately pushing their opponents into a dark corner early on.
While one of the main reasons for the success of the Royal Challengers has been their bowling, they've not had as good a time in the death overs. Except for Chris Morris, who has been both miserly and deadly at the death, the RCB bowlers have, more often than not, leaked runs in the last five overs.
KKR undoubtedly have gun finishers in their side such as Dinesh Karthik, Morgan and of course, Andre Russell. KKR have often left Russell for too late or have batted slowly in the middle overs, leaving too much for the Jamaican to do.
They might want to change that today, for against a rather pale looking RCB death bowling unit, Russell and co. might want to go beserk. Provided, Russell is fit and raring to go.
#2) Bring in Sunil Narine
This might be a risky move for KKR, considering that Sunil Narine is under the scanner for his action and that one more report could see him suspended for the entire season. Moreover, the West Indian mystery spinner hasn't been in the best of form, either with bat or ball.
However, Sunil Narine's all-round numbers against RCB are hard to ignore. He has managed to pick up 16 wickets against the Kohli-led squad in 13 matches, while with the bat, he also has two quickfire half-centuries to his name.
What's more, Narine has enjoyed success against the RCB skipper Kohli, who is his side's leading run-scorer this year. Narine, having conceded 99 runs in 94 balls against Kohli, has also dismissed him twice.
Knowing RCB to be a team that tries to shield themselves against spin, the duo of Varun Chakravarthy and Narine could force RCB to implement unorthodox strategies that end up hurting the Bangalore franchise's chances.
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#3) Go after Yuzvendra Chahal
The highest wicket-taker for RCB this season, Yuzvendra Chahal has looked in good touch with 13 wickets from his nine matches at an economy of 7.64 RPO.
What that economy doesn't tell us, is that when Chahal has come good, he has had an economy of just 4-6 RPO. This has fueled the 30-year-old with the confidence needed to toss the ball up and pick up a few key wickets.
However, when the batsmen have attacked Chahal, he has ended up going for runs aplenty and has looked an entirely different bowler. KKR might want to exploit this very factor, as giving Chahal the confidence he needs on the matchday could prove disastrous for Morgan's men.
With KKR being a side that has good players of spin like Shubhman Gill, Karthik and left-handers such as Nitish Rana and Morgan, they should definitely look to go on the attack and unsettle Chahal. This, in turn, will set them up for a big finish in the last five overs.Published 21 Oct 2020, 14:23 IST