Its match number 31 and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are up against Virat Kohli and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). Both teams are desperately searching for a win to kick start their second phase of the 2021 IPL campaign. A win for KKR today could revive their season, having lost five out of seven matches in the first phase. Furthermore, a win for RCB could strengthen their top 3 spot in the points table. However, the headline is that Virat Kohli is stepping down as RCB captain next year. Kohli is no longer a T20 captain for the country as well as the IPL side next year.
Kolkata Knight Riders
The Kolkata Knight Riders suffered a huge blow after Pat Cummins opted out of the second phase. The Australian was a crucial piece to Eoin Morgan’s side. Pat Cummins took 9 wickets in seven matches for KKR a hit 93 runs. He smacked 66 runs off 56 balls faced against Chennai Super Kings. However, unable to get KKR off the line.
Furthermore, Pat Cummins is replaced by Tim Southee. The New Zealand bowler represented Chennai Super Kings, Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore & Mumbai Indians in the past. However, he has had varying success in the IPL. Southee managed to bag 28 wickets in 40 matches averaging an economy rate of 8.73.
Kolkata Knight Riders need their star all-rounder Andre Russell to fire on all cylinders in the second phase. The KKR group has to come together to turn things around in the second phase of the 2021 IPL.
KKR gained four points in seven matches and is currently seventh in the points table.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
The Royal Challengers Bangalore look to get back on track in the UAE, after a defeat in the last match against the Punjab Kings. However, RCB’s position in the points table is quite promising. Virat Kohli and his men have managed five wins out of seven matches played.
RCB has struggled with the middle order in recent years. However, with the addition of Glenn Maxwell to the side, the middle order is perfectly balanced. Maxwell is RCB’s leading run-scorer in this year’s IPL. The Australian big hitter has hit 223 runs in 6 innings for the Bangalore side at a strike rate of 144.81.
Furthermore, RCB’s bowling department has excelled. RCB’s Harshal Patel is this year’s IPL leading wicket-taker with 17 wickets taken in 7 matches. But, the Royal Challengers Bangalore will miss key players. Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, and Washington Sundar are some of the notable players. However, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, and Tim David come in as replacements.
RCB will look to get back on track and start off on a positive note.
Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore at 7:30 pm (IST) at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.