PROBABLE XI o KKR v RCB:
KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS:
1. G. Gambhir 2. R. Uthappa 3. M. Pandey 4. S. Yadav 5. Y. Pathan 6. S. Hasan 7. A. Russel 8. P. Chawla 9. S. Narine 10. U. Yadav 11. M. Morkel
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE:
1. C. Gayle 2. Mandeep Singh 3. V. Kohli 4. AB De Villiers 5. D. Karthik 6. D. Sammy 7. Sean Abbott 8. V. Aaron 9. A. Nechim 10. Y. Chahal 11. I. Abdullah
On the 11th of April, two extremely contrasting sides will clash at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. The hosts, Kolkata Knight Riders, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore are two sides who are poles apart. The strengths and weaknesses of these teams differ greatly. The only common aspect between these teams lies in their leadership. Firstly, both the teams are led by two Delhiites. Secondly, both the men in command of their respective sides are known for their mercurial temper and mindset. But both also know the ways to win matches at any given cost. Watching the hosts led by Gautam Gambhir, take on the Virat Kohli led Bangalore side will be really interesting.
The Knight Riders rely mainly on their bowling. Their spinners, on supporting decks are a priceless commodity. The Royal Challengers on the other hand, are known for their batting muscle. With the likes of Gayle, Kohli, De Villiers and Sammy in the ranks, no boundary is sizeable enough for these batsmen. The Royal Challengers will play their first game on Saturday, and would want to get off to a winning start. The Knight Riders on the other hand would want to carry the momentum from their emphatic win against the Mumbai Indians.
PREVIOUS YEAR CLASHES:
The teams first clashed in the 2014 IPL in UAE on the 24th of April 2014. That game is etched into the memories of cricket viewers only because of one reason – the acrobatic catch taken by Chris Lynn to dismiss AB De Villiers in the last over. The Knight Riders batted first and got to a moderate total of 150, thanks to the contributions of Lynn and Suryakumar Yadav. The Royal Challengers Bangalore were on their way to victory, before they endured a monumental choke! The Bangalore side needed just 29 from 26 balls, with 8 wickets in hand. But then, with Kohli being dismissed, the Bangalore batsmen made a complete mess. With 6 needed off 3 balls, AB played a wild slog over deep midwicket. What followed ahead was simply miraculous. Chris Lynn, who was just inches away from the boundary slipped, only to regain his balance and take the catch out of thin air. The Royal Challengers eventually lost by 2 runs.
The teams then clashed at the Eden Gardens on the 22nd of May. KKR, batting first made a whopping 195, courtesy of some brilliance by Uthappa and Shakib Al Hasan. The Royal Challengers never looked in the game, and lost it by 30 runs. Robin Uthappa was the Man of the Match, for his superb knock of 83*.
The KKR skipper got off to a flying start against the Mumbai Indians. Gambhir played like the Gambhir of the good old times, when he got on top of every bowler. His inside out shots against Harbhajan, and his huge six off Ojha, were delightful sights for the viewers. Against the Royal Challengers, Gambhir will have another opportunity to do well. His best IPL score, 93, came against this very side at this very ground.
The tall South African pacer was at his lethal best against the Mumbai Indians. Morkel generated steep bounce and at a rapid pace. He was simply too hot to handle. Against the likes of Chris Gayle and Kohli, Morkel’s contribution will be crucial. His first burst to Gayle will have a great impact on the match.
The Jamaican giant was in great touch in the World Cup. The IPL, is his favourite stage. It was at this very ground in 2011, that Gayle got to his first IPL ton, which began the procession of IPL tons for Gayle. The West Indian macho would want to be among the runs from the first game itself. If he does that, then viewers are in for some serious entertainment!
The Royal Challengers skipper was mocked by a lot of fans after the World Cup semi final loss to Australia. Kohli would want to make that a thing of the past. To do so, Kohli would have to fire from the very first game itself. Expect the hard hitting Bangalore captain to make a bold statement with the bat against the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Expect the Knight Riders to start as the favourites for this encounter. Their spinners might be too much for the Royal Challengers batsmen to handle.