|This is Santadeep Dey bringing you LIVE commentary of IPL 2020: RCB vs KKR in Sharjah.|
MATCH PREVIEW BY SHIVANSH GUPTA
Expect the big-hitters to rule the roost in Sharjah when Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) square off in Match 28 of the 2020 Indian Premier League (IPL) in a bid to consolidate their positions in the top half of the table.
Bangalore has endured a mixed start to its season in the UAE. After beating Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in its opening fixture, it suffered a heavy 97-run defeat at the hands of Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in game two. However, the side bounced back with two consecutive victories, against Mumbai Indians (MI) and Rajasthan Royals (RR), before going down to a strong Delhi Capitals (DC) side. Now, it goes into its seventh league game on the back of a fine 37-run win against three-time champion Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
The Virat Kohli-led side, which currently sits fourth in the points table, has at times struggled in the closing stages of an innings. Despite boasting a strong top order with the likes of AB de Villiers, Aaron Finch and skipper Kohli himself, the Men in Red have failed to accelerate towards the end on a few occasions.
On the other hand, Navdeep Saini has been their most effective bowler at the death, except for an expensive outing against DC. With Chris Morris’ return and Yuzvendra Chahal’s remarkable form, the bowling line-up looks more balanced and complete.
Its opponent, the Kolkata-based outfit, will be eyeing a hat-trick of wins, having pulled off successive heists against CSK and KXIP in its previous matches. Dinesh Karthik and Co. seemed to be heading towards a certain loss at one point in both the encounters before their bowlers showed great discipline at the death to snatch victories from the jaws of defeat.
KKR, currently third in the points table, lost its opening game to MI before taking full points from its next two games against SRH and RR, respectively. The opening pair of Rahul Tripathi and Shubman Gill has showed promise. However, KKR will have selection woes going into the match with Andre Russell getting injured in the last game and Sunil Narine’s bowling action being reported. Chris Green is likely to replace Russell, while Karthik may bring in Kuldeep Yadav for Narine.
England’s limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan and captain Karthik add value to the middle order. Pat Cummins leads the bowling departement and has able company in Varun Chakravarthy and Prasidh Krishna, who starred with a three-wicket haul against KXIP.
An in-form Kohli makes RCB look even more dominant. The Indian skipper scored an unbeaten 90 in the last match and has more than 200 runs under his belt from his last three outings. He, along with star opener Devdutt Padikkal, have the potential to turn the game around on their day. Chris Morris’ three for 19 is an encouraging sign as his experience can prove handy towards the end.
KKR’s Gill and Varun Chakravarthy have been impressive and it will be interesting to see how Morgan fares in Sharjah. Cummins has gotten off to a rough start with the ball and the Knights will bank on his experience on a small Sharjah ground.
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The two teams have faced each other 24 times in the IPL so far, with KKR holding a 14-10 head-to-head win/loss record over RCB.
Last season, Kolkata and Bangalore shared a victory each when they faced off. In the first outing, Knight Riders chased down 206 while Bangalore successfully defended 213 in the reverse fixture. Captain Virat Kohli’s 58-ball century had guided the side to a 10-run victory.
During IPL 2014’s UAE leg, KKR had faced off against RCB in Sharjah where the former won the encounter by just two runs.
Overall, the Knight Riders have won the IPL twice and also reached a Champions League T20 (CLT20) final. Bangalore has lost three IPL finals and one CLT20 summit clash.
West Indies and Kolkata all-rounder, Andre Russell, has always enjoyed playing against Bangalore, scoring 323 runs at an average of 53.83 and strike rate of 227.46.
On the other hand, Kohli has accumulated 647 runs at an average of 37.44 and strike rate of 131.64 versus KKR, while RCB pacer Umesh Yadav has taken 13 wickets in nine outings against the men in purple.
RCB: Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (WK), Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Isuru Udana, Chris Morris, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal
KKR: Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (C/WK), Chris Green, Pat Cummins, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy, Kamlesh Nagarkoti
TOP FIVE PLAYERS WITH MOST POINTS IN FANTASY SQUADS
1. Pat Cummins (KKR) – 84.5 points
2. Sunil Narine (KKR) – 79 points
3. Devdutt Padikkal (RCB) – 79 points
4. Yuzvendra Chahal (RCB) – 75 points
5. Navdeep Saini (RCB) – 73 points
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers(w), Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Chris Morris, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Adam Zampa, Pavan Deshpande, Mohammed Siraj, Josh Philippe, Shahbaz Ahmed, Umesh Yadav, Dale Steyn, Parthiv Patel
Kolkata Knight Riders: Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik(w/c), Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Sunil Narine, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy, Kuldeep Yadav, Sandeep Warrier, Siddhesh Lad, Nikhil Naik, Chris Green, Lockie Ferguson, Rinku Singh, Ali Khan, Tom Banton, Shivam Mavi, Manimaran Siddharth
IPL 2020 Points Table
|Kolkata Knight Riders||6||4||2||8||+0.017|
|Royal Challengers Bangalore||6||4||2||8||-0.820|
|Chennai Super Kings||7||2||5||4||-0.588|
|Kings XI Punjab||7||1||6||2||-0.381|
WHERE TO WATCH IPL 2020 – ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE VS KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS LIVE?
The Indian Premier League match Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders will be broadcast live on the Star Sports Network. Live streaming will also be available on the Hotstar app or website exclusively for VIP and Premium users.