Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – 3rd match
8th April 2018
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Till a few years ago, the Eden Gardens track was one of the slowest in the country, with scores of even 130 being hard to chase down. However, once the grass was re-laid, the pitch has become one of the better surfaces for batting, with scores above 160-170 being the norm.The green wicket assists the seamers up front. In the last two seasons, Eden has become known for the performance of the pacers.
Average 1stInnings Score – 154
Highest Total Chased – 204
There have been plenty of doubts over how new captain Dinesh Karthik will lead KKR now that Gautam Gambhir has departed the franchise. Karthik, in his first game as a KKR player, will have all the foreign recruits at his disposal except for Mitchell Starc, who suffered an injury. The duo of Andre Russell and Chris Lynn looks in good rhythm and they will be the marquee players in the team.
Royal Challengers Bangalore, on the other hand, come into the IPL as one of the strongest contenders. With players like Kohli, AB de Villiers, Chahal, and Sundar in their ranks, RCB are well equipped to silence the home crowd.
Head To Head:
Total matches – 21
Kolkata Knight Riders – 12 wins (57%)
Royal Challengers Bangalore – 9 wins (43%)
Kolkata Knight Riders:
Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubham Gill, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Nitish Rana, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Mitchell Johnson
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Brendon McCullum, Parthiv Patel (wk), Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Chris Woakes, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pawan Negi, Umesh Yadav
Top point scorers:
Kolkata Knight Riders
Robin Uthappa (355 points) –One of the mainstays of the KKR line-up since 2014, Uthappa was brought back into the team for this season via the Right-To-Match card. Last season, he scored 388 runs in 14 matches at an average of nearly 30 and a strike-rate of over 165.
Sunil Narine (289 points) –Sunil Narine was a revelation last season with the bat. He was thrown in to open the innings on a number of occasions and did not disappoint, scoring 224 runs at a strike-rate of over 172. He also scored the joint-fastest fifty in the history of the IPL. Though he was not as effective with the ball – picking just 10 wickets, he is expected to return with a rich haul of points once again.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Parthiv Patel (310 points) –The wicket-keeper turned out for Mumbai Indiansin 2017 and scored close to 400 runs, with a strike-rate of 135. He also scored two fifties in the entire tournament and provides a dependable option in the top order.
Pawan Negi (287 points) –The youngster had a below-par season in 2017 with the bat, wherein he scored just 144 runs in 12 matches. However, he stood out with the ball, picking up 16 wickets at an astonishing average of 12.31 and an economy rate of under 6.5 runs an over.
Player to avoid:
Vinay Kumar (KKR) @ 8.5 credits
Patel is expected to open the batting alongside Brendon McCullum, who is most probably going to go for the big shots up front. That will allow Patel the liberty to play his natural game. He can hold one end up and go for the kill in the later stages.