Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have had a horror IPL season all right, but if you have to pick the lowest point, then the clash against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Eden Gardens on April 23 has to be the one. Chasing 131, Royal Challengers were bowled out for the lowest score in IPL history (49) and post that ignominy, their season has just gone downhill.
In match 46, which will be played at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium and is RCB’s penultimate, Knight Riders are the team who have everything to play for.
RCB vs KKR Head-to-head
Royal Challengers and Knight Riders have faced each other 20 times before tomorrow evening’s (May 7) encounter, with one of those being a Champions League match, and KKR lead RCB in the head-to-head record by 11-9.
In IPL, the head-to-head record between RCB and KKR stands at Kolkata 10-9 Bangalore.
In seven meetings at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in the IPL, Royal Challengers have won four matches to Knight Riders’ three.
Bangalore: LLLLNR (from left to right, most recent result first; current position on the points table: 8th)
Kolkata: LLWWW (current position on the points table: 3rd)
Match 46: RCB vs KKR Playing XI
Royal Challengers will love to finish off the season with two wins from two matches, but with the confidence so low and none of the batsmen reliable and in form, they might struggle once again against a formidable KKR line-up.
RCB’s probable playing XI vs KKR: 1. Virat Kohli (c), 2. Chris Gayle, 3. Mandeep Singh, 4. AB de Villiers, 5. Kedar Jadhav, 6. Shane Watson, 7. Pawan Negi, 8. Sreenath Aravind, 9. Samuel Badree, 10. Yuzvendra Chahal, and 11. Aniket Choudhary
Actual playing XI for RCB: 1. Virat Kohli (c), 2. Chris Gayle, 3. Mandeep Singh, 4. AB de Villiers, 5. Kedar Jadhav, 6. Travis Head, 7. Pawan Negi, 8. Sreenath Aravind, 9. Samuel Badree, 10. Yuzvendra Chahal, and 11. Aniket Choudhary
Ahead of match 46, we have heard that Chris Lynn, who has been out of action for close to a month now, “could well be available for selection”. Knight Riders will dearly welcome back the Australian batsman if he is fit.
Robin Uthappa missed KKR’s home defeat to Rising Pune due to a niggle and we do not know yet if the Karnataka batsman-wicketkeeper has regained fitness. If he has, Sheldon Jackson might well be the one to make way. Nathan Coulter-Nile was hit on the helmet by a Daniel Christian bouncer and the Australian pacer was unsettled throughout after being hit, also failing to bowl his quota of four overs.
The Kolkata team management will take a decision on the Uthappa-Coulter-Nile duo before the match.
KKR’s probable playing XI vs RCB: 1. Gautam Gambhir (c), 2. Sunil Narine, 3. Sheldon Jackson/Robin Uthappa (wk), 4. Manish Pandey, 5. Yusuf Pathan, 6. Suryakumar Yadav, 7. Colin de Grandhomme, 8. Nathan Coulter-Nile/Trent Boult, 9. Umesh Yadav, 10. Chris Woakes, and 11. Piyush Chawla
Actual playing XI for KKR: 1. Gautam Gambhir (c), 2. Chris Lynn, 3. Sheldon Jackson (wk), 4. Manish Pandey, 5. Yusuf Pathan, 6. Ankit Singh Rajpoot, 7. Colin de Grandhomme, 8. Sunil Narine, 9. Umesh Yadav, 10. Chris Woakes, and 11. Piyush Chawla
RCB vs KKR Match Prediction
Despite being the away side and having a win-loss record of 3-4 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, against RCB, Knight Riders will start match 46 as the overwhelming favourites. Yes, Gautam Gambhir and co. are under pressure to qualify for the playoffs, but Royal Challengers have been the punching bag for every other team this season and I expect Knight Riders to have a field day in Bangalore.
Do you expect a backlash from Kohli and co.?