What

Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to open their account in VIVO IPL 2019 when they take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 17.

Nearly a fortnight into the season, Royal Challengers Bangalore are the only team without a win; led by Virat Kohli, RCB have finished second best in all four matches they’ve played. They suffered humiliating losses against CSK and SRH, but competed better in their matches against MI and most recently against RR.

The pressure is mounting on RCB. Considering teams have generally needed at least seven wins to stand a chance of progressing to the playoffs, RCB are already faced with the equation of having to win at least seven of their remaining ten matches.

RCB have problems to address. Just like a wheel cannot run with only two or three spokes, so too a team cannot win a competition with just two or three players. For years, the weight of the team’s batting has fallen on the shoulders of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers (and Chris Gayle in the past). RCB need the rest of the batsmen in their line-up to do their bit so the team can produce the results.

The Knight Riders have two wins from three matches; the only defeat they suffered was at the hands of Delhi Capitals – a match that was decided in the Super Over – four days ago. Andre Russell was the match-winner in both KKR wins, though there have been useful contributions from several  others. Sunil Narine missed the previous match because of injury, and his absence had a huge impact on the team combination – on both batting and bowling fronts. KKR didn’t have an able replacement on the bench and hence fielded only three overseas players. One expects Narine will be available for this match, and hence the team will be able to field their first-choice XI.

When

5 April 2019, 8pm IST

Where

M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

Previous Match XIs:

Royal Challengers Bangalore:Virat Kohli, Parthiv Patel, AB de Villiers, ShimronHetmyer, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Akshdeep Nath, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav.

Kolkata Knight Riders:Nikhil Naik, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Prasidh Krishna.

Protagonists

Despite the fact that Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have only batted 79 balls and 62 balls respectively so far this season, they are the batsmen most likely to win matches for RCB.

The KKR openers – Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine – will love the surface at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium; expect fireworks early in the innings. And of course, if Andre Russell gets an opportunity to bat, expect him to deposit a ball or two on the stadium roof.

The only bowler who has consistently produced results at the Chinnaswamy Stadium is Yuzvendra Chahal. The RCB leg-spinner is a smart operator and isn’t afraid of tossing the ball up – despite having to contend with small boundaries at his home ground. In 35 IPL matches at the venue, he has a total of 47 wickets and has gone wicketless only 7 times.The four overs of Kuldeep Yadav could also be exciting to watch, and have a significant influence on the result.

Head to Head in Indian Premier League

Overall: Matches – 22,Royal Challengers Bangalore – 9, Kolkata Knight Riders – 13.

Since 2017: Matches – 4, Royal Challengers Bangalore – 0, Kolkata Knight Riders – 4.

Trivia

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s runs per wicket lost this season is 18.00 – the lowest among all the teams.

Kolkata Knight Riders have the poorest economy rate – if one can call it that; their economy rate in the three matches is 9.27.

While RCB have had opening partnerships of 16, 27, 13 & 49, RCB’s opponents have posted opening partnerships of 8, 54, 185 and 60.

RCB-KKR matches have produced some record-breaking performances; Brendon McCullum kickstarted the IPL with a smashing 158 not out – which would be the highest score in the IPL for several years. Many years later, Sunil Narine smashed a half-century off 15 balls – which would be the joint-fastest half-century in the IPL until it was bettered in 2018.

Cricket

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