All-time meetings: Kolkata Knight Riders W15, Royal Challengers Bangalore W9 Last meeting: Kolkata Knight Riders beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 5 wickets
THE TEAM NEWS
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Coach: Jacques Kallis
Captain: Dinesh Karthik
After winning four of their opening five matches, Kolkata Knight Riders have lost their last three games and have slipped out of the top four, so they will be desperate to get back to winning ways here and take advantage of a five-day break from matches.
Alarm bells rang in training on Wednesday when star man Andre Russell was hit in the shoulder and he is a doubt for this match. He is likely to battle through the pain however, although Carlos Brathwaite and Joe Denly are on standby to come into the side if he is deemed unfit.
Skipper Dinesh Karthik will be buoyed by his pick to join Indian World Cup squad ahead of Rishabh Pant so he will be keen to impress, while the only other change they may make to their team is a potential swap of Lockie Ferguson back into the side for Harry Gurney.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
Coach: Gary Kirsten
Captain: Virat Kohli
With just a solitary win from their opening eight matches, there is no room for anything other than a victory for Royal Challengers Bangalore here but they will have to halt a run of five consecutive defeats against the Knight Riders.
The club have signed South African fast bowler Dale Steyn to join the squad after Australian paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile dropped out due to injury so they will hope he can hit the ground running and make an immediate impact in this match where he will likely start.
Moeen Ali was the bright spot in the last match against Mumbai Indians, smashing 50 from 32 balls and then taking 2/18 from his four overs, and they will need more contributions like that if they are to slow the big-hitters of the Knight Riders.
Kolkata Knight Riders have lost their last three matches and they need to win this match desperately as do the Royal Challengers Bangalore. KKR will take heart from the fact that they have dominated recent meetings against RCB, winning their last five. Assuming Russell is fit to play, KKR’s dominant batting order can take advantage of RCB’s weak bowling unit once again and that mis-match is likely to be the decisive factor in this game.
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