Date: 18thApril 2021
Time: 3:30 PM (IST)
Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium
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It is not very often do you see RCB on top of the table and start off the season with 2 wins. They are a side which is always shaky at the start and gain momentum at the fag end of the tournament that too if it’s a good season for them. But this time around, RCB have started off well and have played exceptional cricket. On the other hand, KKR too have been superlative in the tournament and have 1 win and 1 loss under their belt. But they would be banging their heads against the wall for their dismal collapse in the previous game against Mumbai Indians (MI), which eventually cost them the two points. An interesting contest between the two high-profile sides - Bangalore and Kolkata - will take place on Sunday.
KKR's middle-order has been an area of debate and the big-guns have failed to deliver. Shakib Al Hasan, Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell have looked rusty and this has put additional pressure on the top-order batsmen. Plus the lack of clarity of Harbhajan Singh's role has made them suffer in certain key moments.
Australian speedster Daniel Sams has tested negative for the COVID-19 virus and is back in the camp. As Daniel Christian has failed to leave an impact in the first two games, we might witness Sams getting the nod ahead of Christian. In addition, Yuzvendra Chahal's form has blown hot and cold and that would be causing headaches to Virat Kohli.
This time around, RCB have great depth in their batting and bowling and that has helped them in pocketing two out of the 2 matches they have played so far. However, they will be cautious of their familiar foes, KKR. Both the sides share a rich collection of history and this will be an enticing contest. Captain Kohli has scored 66 runs in the 2 matches and he would be itching to better those numbers. Glenn Maxwell has been another vital cog in the wheels of RCB and has been consistent with his batting. Harshal Patel had picked up 5 wickets in the first game and followed that up with 2 wickets in the next. Shahbaz Ahmed and Washington Sundar will be another set of valuable players in this match as the game will be taking place at Chennai whose pitch aids the spinners.
Meanwhile, KKR have played some gutsy cricket so far and were all set to win the second game too but the ghosts of their bad record against MI struck them and they eventually bottled up. Nitish Rana has been in tremendous form so far and has the orange cap with him, presently. He has plundered 137 runs in the ongoing season. However, the batting form of Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell will be a concern for the side. The bowling department has been quite prolific so far and the presence of Harbhajan Singh has proven to be quite effective on the expertise and experience front.
People's Pick for Fantasy:
Probable Playing XI:
Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Shahbaz Ahmed, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Kylie Jamieson/Kane Richardson, Mohammad Siraj
Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (w/k), Eoin Morgan (c), Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy
Wicket-keepers : AB de Villiers, Dinesh Karthik
Batsmen : Virat Kohli, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill
All-rounders : Glenn Maxwell, Andre Russell, Shahbaz Ahmed, Shakib Al Hasan
Bowlers: Prasidh Krishna, Mohammad Siraj, Pat Cummins, Yuzvendra Chahal
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