RCB's close shaves
It is not often that Royal Challengers Bangalore get off to a good start in the IPL. This time, the team finds itself at the top of the charts after their first two matches, winning both of them.
It is to be noted here that both of their matches have been close affairs and the pendulum could have swung either way. However, it is credit to the team for keeping their cool and closing out the match.
In their opening encounter against Mumbai Indians, while chasing 160, the team was done for all money had AB de Villiers not stepped up and played a hand which stood out head and shoulders above the rest.
In their next match against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the team suffered a batting collapse and SRH could only manage 149 from their 20 overs. Hyderabad were well on their way to victory before all-rounder Shahbaz Ahmed picked up three wickets in one over to change the face of the match.
Harshal Patel does the cleaning up
While RCB will be happy with the four points in their kitty, they will be aware of their lack of execution at various points in both those matches and will want to rectify their mistakes.
What will bring relief to the camp is that their death bowling is looking a lot better with Harshal Patel taking the onus and Mohd Siraj also bowling impeccable lines and lengths with the new ball.
Stutter after good start
While Royal Challengers Bangalore have successfully closed out games, KKR have been guilty of not being able to achieve the same. Kolkata have been part of two close games, with one going their way and the other going against them.
The team put on 187 runs on the board in their first encounter against SRH, on the back of brilliant half centuries from Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi, but it was their bowlers, particularly Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan, who pulled things back.
KKR's out-of-form middle order
In the last match however, the team had no such luck with them failing to chase down Mumbai Indians' 153-run total. After a 72-run opening stand between Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill, none of their other batters could manage even a double digit score.
Kolkata Knight Riders will consider bringing in Sunil Narine in place of Shakib Al Hasan who has been unable to deliver with the bat in two opportunities.
Check out our today match predictions below
Who will win the toss? - KKR
Who will win? – RCB
Who will score most runs? – Devdutt Padikkal (RCB), Nitish Rana (KKR)
Who will take most wickets? – Harshal Patel (RCB), Varun Chakravarthy (KKR)
Most Sixes – Glenn Maxwell (RCB), Eoin Morgan (KKR)
Here are the predicted playing XIs:
Kolkata Knight Riders - Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine/Shakib Al Hasan, Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Shahbaz Ahmed, AB de Villiers (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Christian, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal