For a side that was so dependent on their star all-rounder Andre Russell, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will be worried about his availability ahead of their home match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). This match #35 of the Indian Premier League 2019 season will be played at the Eden Gardens on Friday.
After staying close to the top of the table for long, KKR slid down the table and are now sixth (W4, L4). RCB have no such worries and have always been at the bottom (W1, L7).
After a solid start to their season, KKR have lost their way with three losses in four games. Two of those have come at home and that should be hurting for their chances. Most of their victories have been pulled off by Russell, which is why they are desperate for him to play.
Forget their batting, even KKR’s bowling hasn’t been up to the mark. While their pacers have struggled to make early inroads, their spinners Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav haven’t been up to the mark either.
After picking their only win of the season against Kings XI, RCB got back to their losing ways against Mumbai. They have six matches to go and are not sure of qualifying even if they win all the matches. That said, there is pride to play for and also a chance to give themselves a chance to qualify for the playoffs.
RCB have relied on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to do bulk of the scoring, although Moeen Ali has come to the party in the last match. Bowling department has been a huge disappointment, barring Yuzvendra Chahal.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Yuzvendra Chahal has been the lone shining light for RCB this season with 13 wickets to his name at an ER of 7.03. The leg-spinner should enjoy another favourable outing.
Robin Uthappa has almost gone under the radar, but has already amassed 211 runs. Coming up against his boyhood club, the attacking batsman should enjoy being among the runs.
Dale Steyn has been roped in as Nathan Coulter-Nile’s injury replacement by RCB. His experience should be a boost to their struggling bowling unit.
KKR: 1 Chris Lynn 2 Sunil Narine 3 Robin Uthappa 4 Nitish Rana 5 Dinesh Karthik (C & WK) 6 Shubman Gill 7 Carlos Brathwaite 8 Piyush Chawla 9 Kuldeep Yadav 10 Prasidh Krishna 11 Harry Gurney
RCB: 1 Parthiv Patel (WK) 2 Virat Kohli (C) 3 AB de Villiers 4 Moeen Ali 5 Marcus Stoinis 6 Akshdeep Nath 7 Pawan Negi 8 Dale Steyn 9 Yuzvendra Chahal 10 Nitin Saini 11 Umesh Yadav
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