IPL 9, Match 30 Preview: Challenge for the Royal Challengers to hold KKR at home

IPL 9, Match 30 Preview: Challenge for the Royal Challengers to hold KKR at home

IPL 9 Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore players. (Photo Source: Nitin Lawate/IANS)

After travelling around the country from Mumbai to Pune and Gujarat to Hyderabad the Royal Challengers Bangalore return home to the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore and are ready to host the Kolkata Knight Riders. Both the teams have had a similar fate in the last couple of matches losing out to their opponents in an away game. While RCB has a lot of things to sort in their bowling department; arranging the combinations to get Chris Gayle back into the XI would be at the top of the priority list. Kolkata, on the other hand, needs their middle and lower middle order to get its act together and stop relying on the top 3 to get the bulk of the runs.

For Bangalore, the trick has been to put up enough runs on the board that their weak bowling attack can defend. KKR have thus far looked to unleash their slower bowlers and restrict teams to totals their top order can run through without breaking a sweat.

Royal Challengers Bangalore:

Coming back home will be a good feeling for Virat Kohli and company, the Chinnaswamy wicket has been eagerly waiting to witness another high scoring game. The first thing they would do is to fit in Gayle back in the XI, he will open with the skipper while they might opt to bat KL Rahul who has done really well at 4 after AB de Villiers. The Jamaican will also be itching to get a go, as he wasn’t his self in the first half of the tournament and flew back home on paternal leave in the last part of April. To get him in RCB will have to swap Kane Richardson with a domestic bowler and that wouldn’t be a real headache as the Australian hasn’t done exceedingly well either.

They have limited options in the bowling department and would want to make the best use of the available resources or just enough to sneak past KKR.

Kolkata Knight Riders:

Gautam Gambhir’s men were doing exceedingly well until they flew to Mumbai and lost their second game in the season to MI at the Wankhede, following which they also lost to the Delhi Daredevils in Delhi. The game came in with a lot of lessons for Kolkata and would have definitely prompted Gambhir to stick to a more certain batting order than tweaking with it all the time. Suryakumar Yadav who has shouldered the responsibility well should bat at no.3 with the likes of Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan and Andre Russell to follow.

Brad Hogg might sit out of the game and make way for Shakib since the latter also adds depth to their batting and the Chinaman would have little say on a batting friendly wicket. The positive for KKR is that, Umesh Yadav has done well for them and he has not only swung the ball first up but has also come back to pick wickets in his second spell with the variations and has been on the money. Russell is someone who balances their lineup in both the departments and Gambhir will be looking up to him for a good show in both his trades.

Probable XI-

Royal Challengers Bangalore:

Virat Kohli (C), Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, KL Rahul (wk), Sachin Baby, Parvez Rasool, Varun Aaron, Harshal Patel, Tabraiz Shamsi, Abu Nechim.

Kolkata Knight Riders:

Gautam Gambhir (C), Robin Uthappa (wk), Suryakumar Yadav, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Andre Russell, Colin Munro, R Sathish, Piyush Chawla, Umesh Yadav, Sunil Narine.

StAttack:

1. This will be Gautam Gambhir’s 100th IPL match as captain.

2. Four KKR bowlers have an economy of less than 8 runs an over this season.

3. Robin Uthappa needs one more dismissal to get past Adam Gilchrist’s 67 dismissals, following which he will be at number 3 in the list of wicketkeepers with most dismissals in IPL, led by MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik.

4. Virat Kohli needs one more catch to complete 50 catches in IPL.

5. Chris Gayle has scored 469 runs in 9 innings – at an average of 67 and has a strike-rate of 160 vs Knight Riders in the IPL.