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IPL 10, Match 46, RCB v KKR Preview: Pride at stake for RCB as Kolkata Knight Riders eye playoffs qualification

Coming into this game, RCB will arrive with a string of defeats to their name.

Kolkata Knight Riders
Kolkata Knight Riders. (Photo Source: BCCI)

The Kolkata Knight Riders would be itching to take the field against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at Bengaluru. The Knight Riders are sitting on 14 points in the points table. One more win and they will almost guarantee themselves a place in the playoff. Playing against the opposition that has looked the least impressive in the season thus far, KKR would fancy their chances in the match.

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The last time these two sides had met in the tournament, it was the most embarrassing outing for the Virat Kohli-led side. Chasing a modest 130 odd for the team, RCB was shot down for a paltry 49 in under 10 overs at the Eden Gardens. It was perhaps the turning point for RCB team since they could never really get their confidence back to the fore after that disappointing outing.

Coming into this game, RCB will arrive with a string of defeats to their name. On the other hand, the Knight Riders will also arrive into the game riding on a low. They were beaten by the Rising Pune Supergiant in their previous match of the season. Will RCB pull off the consolation win for the sea of red at the Chinnaswamy or will the Knight Riders inflict more pain on RCB? Expect a close game on the cards.

Toss: KKR won the toss and elected to bowl first

Quotes from the toss:

Virat Kohli: We have had a few problems chasing, we would have batted first anyway. The wicket is very different when compared to that of last year. We don’t want to put pressure on ourselves, they love to chase, so that’s good for both teams. We are pretty motivated, we don’t want to play spoilsport, one change for us, Travis Head replaces Shane Watson.

Gautam Gambhir: We will bowl first. The pitch will not change a lot, we will look to restrict them. Three changes for us. Chris Lynn is in for Coulter-Nile, Ankit Rajpoot replaces Suryakumar Yadav and Piyush Chawla comes in place of Kuldeep Yadav. 

Playing XI:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Mandeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers, Travis Head, Kedar Jadhav(w), Pawan Negi, Sreenath Aravind, Samuel Badree, Aniket Choudhary, Yuzvendra Chahal

Kolkata Knight RidersSunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir(c), Chris Lynn, Manish Pandey, Sheldon Jackson(w), Yusuf Pathan, Chris Woakes, Colin de Grandhomme, Ankit Rajpoot, Piyush Chawla, Umesh Yadav

Focus will be on

Virat Kohli

RCB skipper Virat Kohli has had a very dismal run in the season as the leader of the team. On the personal front, he has batted with an average lingering around 30, which is way below the expectation levels. He has two fifties to his name in the season but has failed to be the match winner for his team. He has tried everything possible to revive the fortunes of his team but in vain. However, knowing the fight the skipper is capable of, expect him to come up with a consolation performance for the fans.

AB de Villiers

Arguably one of the prime reasons for the dismal show of the Royal Challengers this year has been the poor run of AB de Villiers. AB had started the season on a brilliant run but has failed to replicate his heroics thereafter. He has not been among the runs and that has hurt the team big time. He knows that the team has had the habit of over-depending on him and Virat Kohli. Hence, it will only be fitting if the superstar lives up to his name.

Yusuf Pathan

Hard-hitting batsman Yusuf Pathan has been a much-improved player this season. Unlike the previous seasons when he was an out and out batsman who would smack right from the word go, the veteran batsman has shown application this year. He already has some handy performances under his belt this season and would want to come up with yet another show against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. If Yusuf gets set at the crease, he can help his side post a massive total on the board.

Team Combinations:

Royal Challengers Bangalore

The Royal Challengers have had a nightmare of a season this year. They already have lost 10 matches this season and have nothing but pride to play for. They need to win games for the loyal fans who have been turning up at the Chinnaswamy for every game. They will go in with the big three Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli in the top order. Mandeep Singh will retain his place in the team riding on a 46 in the previous game.

The bowling has been quite impressive for them and the batsmen have often let them down. Pacers Sreenath Arvind and Aniket Choudhary have been doing a decent show in the season in the limited opportunities this season. In the spin department, both Yuzvendra Chahal and Samuel Badree have been picking up wickets at will and containing the run flow at the same time.

Kolkata Knight Riders

The Knight Riders were stunned by the Rising Pune Supergiant in their previous encounter. Despite their defeat, they are unlikely to make any changes to their playing eleven. They have had a very settled unit in the tournament thus far and look equally capable in both the departments of the game. Sunil Narine will continue to open the innings with Gautam Gambhir.

The middle-order looks set with the likes of Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan showing some fine form. Robin Uthappa is expected to be back in the lineup at the expense of Sheldon Jackson. In the bowling department, the pace and the spin department look very capable. Nathan Coulter-Nile has been among the wickets and would have to shoulder the bulk of the bowling responsibility.

StatAttack:

3 – Number of RCB batsmen with 20 or more fifties in the IPL (Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, and Virat Kohli).

19 – Number of times the two teams have faced each other. KKR lead the head-to-head clashes with 10 wins to their name.

687 – Number of runs scored by AB de Villiers in IPL 2016 – the second most by an RCB batsman after Virat Kohli’s 973. This year, he has scored only 206 runs in 8 matches.

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