The Royal Challengers Bangalore will be desperate to claim a win on Monday afternoon when they take on the Kolkata Knight Riders at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Can the Knight Riders get back to winning ways following their disappointing loss to the Delhi Daredevils on Saturday, or will the Royal Challengers keep their faint hopes of a play-off place alive with what would be a crucial victory? Let’s take a look!
To Win Match
RCB 7/10 | Draw 35/1 | KKR 11/10
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Interestingly enough, Virat Kohli and his not so merry band of strugglers are priced up as favourites for this clash. This is especially puzzling when you consider just how bad the Royal Challengers Bangalore have been this season.
They’ve got possibly one of the lamest bowling attacks that the IPL has ever seen. With the exception of Shane Watson – who is more of a batting all-rounder – every single one of their bowlers has been terrible. Much was expected of Kane Richardson this term, but he’s failed to deliver anything to write home about. The Indian contingent of Parvez Rasool, Varun Aaron and Harshal Patel have been rubbish; regularly allowing batsmen to score with unparalleled ease.
This glaring weakness was expertly exploited by the Sunrisers Hyderabad last time out. David Warner and Kane Williamson combined brilliantly to push the Hyderabad’s to 194-5. They attacked from the word go and never let an already fragile bowling attack settle into the game. One feels that a strong Knight Riders’ top and middle order will adopt the same approach. They simply won’t show the RCB attack any respect at all and will likely go on the offensive from the very first over.
If the Royal Challengers are going to have any chance at all of winning this match, they’re going to need their batsmen to come to the party in a big way. Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Lokresh Rahul and Shane Watson are all more than capable of putting together a 200+ total – a score one feels they need to achieve if they’re to stand any chance of winning with their powderpuff bowling attack. Kohli will probably look to bat first if he wins the toss, looking to put on a massive total to give his beleaguered bowlers something to defend.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Having set the early pace in this season’s tournament, the Kolkata Knight Riders have just hit a bit of a slump last week. They were narrowly beaten by the Mumbai Indians on Thursday before going down to the Delhi Daredevils by 27 runs on Saturday.
Trevor Bayliss will view this this match as the perfect opportunity for his side to bounce back and reclaim second place from the Delhi Daredevils. Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir will be licking their lips at the prospect of facing up to the Royal Challengers’ bowlers who have so far been the most expensive in the tournament. The two have been sensational at the top of the order for the Kolkata franchise. Gambhir has amassed an impressive 302 runs so far this season at an average of just over 60 while Uthappa has 242 at 24.57.
They’re also a completely different prospect now that Sunil Narine has been cleared to bowl again. The West Indian spinner has once again proven why he’s widely considered the best limited overs bowler on the planet with some magnificent performances against strong batting sides. His four overs will have a massive bearing on the result of Monday’s fixture. If he keeps scoring down and takes a wicket or two, he’ll put the pressure on the shoulders of the Bangalore batsmen – something they haven’t coped particularly well this this season.
Verdict: KKR to win at 11/10
I simply don’t see this current Royal Challengers Bangalore bowling attack being able to contain the Knight Riders’ top and middle order. Gambhir and Uthappa have been sensational so far and will likely lay the foundations from which Chris Lynn and Andre Russell can launch later on. Back the Knight Riders to canter to an easy enough win on Monday evening.