Match 27: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Eden Gardens, Kolkata (Capacity: 33,000)
Sunday, April 23rd
20:00 hours IST
Kolkata are coming off their defeat to the Gujarat Lions while RCB will be riding high on confidence after they defeated the Lions in their own den.
Kolkata will be disappointed at their home loss against the Lions in their last encounter. However, an uncertain RCB offer them an opportunity of redemption at their own fortress- the majestic Eden. Sunil Narine shall once again open the batting alongside his skipper, followed by Uthappa who looks in fine touch. Pandey and Pathan form the crux of the middle order while big hitting abilities of Surya Kumar Yadav and Shakib can come in handy. Piyush Chawla may get a game in with Kuldeep Yadav making way for him. Umesh Yadav has been impressive to say the least and shall be ably assisted by Woakes and Coulter Nile.
With de Villiers coming back to the fold after a troubled back, the RCB batting might have some respite. Gayle’s return to form is like gold for the men from Bangalore. King Kohli will be looking to marshal his troops to seize the momentum they gained by their victory over Gujarat. Watson could be dropped to make way for the impressive Tymal Mills and one of Milne and Stanlake could feature in the XI.
Ideal Playing XI:
KKR: Gautam Gambhir ©, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa (wk),Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Shakib Al Hasan, Surya Kumar Yadav, Chris Woakes, Piyush Chawla, Nathan Coulter Nile, Umesh Yadav
RCB: Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli ©, AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadhav, Mandeep Singh, Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Adam Milne, Tymal Mills, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sreenath Arvind
Pitch, weather and history: The players will be greeted to a humid evening and temperatures around 35 degrees Celsius. The pitch at the Eden Gardens favours both the spinners as well as the pacers, with a bit of more in it for the former. The captain winning the toss would look to chase, especially knowing that KKR have not lost a single match while chasing at the Eden since 2013. The two teams have faced off 18 teams prior to this and the honors have been equally shared.
Match prediction: RCB shall have drawn confidence from their last match victory and a short break helping AB de Villiers to be fit again shall work in their favour. We have a cracker of a contest at hand with the visitors holding an edge above the home team.