All-time meetings: Royal Challengers Bangalore W9, Kolkata Knight Riders W14 Last meeting: Kolkata Knight Riders beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 6 wickets
THE TEAM NEWS
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE
Coach: Gary Kirsten
Captain: Virat Kohli
Royal Challengers Bangalore remain in complete disarray having lost all four of their matches so far this season and they come off another disappointing loss to the previously winless Rajasthan Royals.
There remains concerns over the quality of their bowling unit and overall balance to the team, and there are reports that Nathan Coulter-Nile will not be available for another ten days so that is a massive blow if indeed correct.
Shimron Hetmyer has scored just 14 runs in his 4 IPL innings and he is likely to be withdrawn to take him out of the spotlight for now, so that could see Colin de Grandhomme come back in or, potentially, South African wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen, while there may be further changes among the local bowlers to freshen things up.
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
Coach: Jacques Kallis
Captain: Dinesh Karthik
Kolkata Knight Riders have won two of their opening three matches coming into this one against Royal Challengers Bangalore, whom they have beaten in their last four meetings, so confidence will be high.
Their last match against Delhi Capitals was last Saturday so it will be almost a week between matches and that will give veterans like Andre Russell time to recover, while Sunil Narine has been passed fit after missing the last game through injury.
Narine’s return is a significant boost to Kolkata but there is some pressure still on Chris Lynn to improve at the top of the order, while Lockie Ferguson could find his position under threat as he has taken just two wickets in three matches, so Englishmen Joe Denly and Harry Gurney could be challenging for a place in the team.
Despite big names such as Kohli and De Villiers in their ranks, RCB have made a woeful start to their IPL campaign and there is little to suggest that form is going to improve here. Kolkata Knight Riders have one of the best batting line-ups in the tournament, while they possess some outstanding spinners who will cause De Villiers, Hetmyer and Ali all kinds of problems. It is difficult to find anything to support RCB here other than home advantage, so everything points to KKR in this one.
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