Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to open their account in VIVO IPL 2019 when they take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 17.
Nearly a fortnight into the season, Royal Challengers Bangalore are the only team without a win; led by Virat Kohli, RCB have finished second best in all four matches they’ve played. They suffered humiliating losses against CSK and SRH, but competed better in their matches against MI and most recently against RR.
The pressure is mounting on RCB. Considering teams have generally needed at least seven wins to stand a chance of progressing to the playoffs, RCB are already faced with the equation of having to win at least seven of their remaining ten matches.
RCB have problems to address. Just like a wheel cannot run with only two or three spokes, so too a team cannot win a competition with just two or three players. For years, the weight of the team’s batting has fallen on the shoulders of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers (and Chris Gayle in the past). RCB need the rest of the batsmen in their line-up to do their bit so the team can produce the results.
The Knight Riders have two wins from three matches; the only defeat they suffered was at the hands of Delhi Capitals – a match that was decided in the Super Over – four days ago. Andre Russell was the match-winner in both KKR wins, though there have been useful contributions from several others. Sunil Narine missed the previous match because of injury, and his absence had a huge impact on the team combination – on both batting and bowling fronts. KKR didn’t have an able replacement on the bench and hence fielded only three overseas players. One expects Narine will be available for this match, and hence the team will be able to field their first-choice XI.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli, Parthiv Patel, AB de Villiers, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Akshdeep Nath, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Nikhil Naik, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna.
Dinesh Karthik (WK), Virat Kohli, Chris Lynn, Nitish Rana, Shimron Hetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Andre Russell, Prasidh Krishna, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj