Playoff calculations are on and now teams will start calculating what needs to be done to secure their place in playoffs. This season has been a lot more competitive as seven out of 8 teams are in contention for play-offs which is the very encouraging sign for the tournament. Kolkatta knight riders and royal challengers Bangalore are placed in 3rd and 4th place till now and are coming into the tournament with wins in their last game. So it is going to be the cracking encounter. RCB is riding on the heroics of AB Devilliers as the magician has won three games comfortably. Young icon Devdutt Padikkal along with Aaron finch has provided much-needed stability to their top order which they have longed for a long period. Virat Kohli has shown his form with the bat but he is not as fluent he would have liked to be. So he will look to play an anchor Innings today that will help this team in a winning cause. On a slow pitch with every batsman started struggling de Villiers has been in sublime form and has played the Innings of the tournament. So he is the vital cog in RCB’s batting line-up. The best thing about RCB this year is they are playing as a unit and are winning matches comfortably with every player contributing. Inclusion of Chris Morris has immediately played dividends as he provides much-needed stability in the lower middle order and troubling the batsmen with his raw pace.
KKR on another hand will face the selection dilemma as Lockie Ferguson is the automatic selection. Sunil Narine has been cleared from warning list but he is far away from his usual batting form and Russell too is not producing match-winning knocks with the bat also he has hurt his hamstring while bowling. So he might be the one who will make way for Sunil Narine. Chris Green has not been at his best so as far as foreign recruits are concerned their captain Eoin Morgan, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson and Pat Cummins might find the place in the playing XI. Shubham gill and Rahul Tripathi are expected to open the innings for KKR. Shubham gill is not in his prime form after the initial success in the tournament but KKR might persist with him considering his talent. Dinesh Karthik has not been consistent with bat and he is the one who should play the anchor role in middle overs. Like DK their captain Eoin Morgan has not been in Midas touch and lacks consistency. With the pitches starts slowing down it is understandable that left-handers will have a tough time in the middle. Lockie Ferguson has immediately made an impact with the ball as his raw pace is troubled the batsmen. He along with Pat Cummins is expected to do the same for today as well. Also, KKR is much good at defending totals with best middle-order batsmen in the name of Eoin Morgan and Dinesh Karthik they will also be expected to do the same if they won the toss.
Expected Playing XI:
1 Shubman Gill, 2 Rahul Tripathi, 3 Nitish Rana, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Andre Russell/ Sunil Narine, 6 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 7 Pat Cummins, 8 Lockie Ferguson, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Varun Chakravarthy, 11 Shivam Mavi
1 Devdutt Padikkal, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 AB de Villiers (wk), 5 Shivam Dube/ Gurkeerat Mann, 6 Chris Morris, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Isuru Udana, 9 Navdeep Saini/ Mohammad Siraj, 10 Shahbaz Ahmed, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
What to expect:
Chris Morris as an individual has got a great record of dismissing KKR batsmen so he might be expected to play a crucial role today as well.
If the platform was laid then it would be difficult to stop AB DE Villiers. He has got the record of scoring fifty plus runs when he comes to bat above 10th over. It might work well for RCB. So RCB top-order batsmen would love to keep the wickets which will lay the foundation for ABD to come and express himself in the middle.
Both the teams are equally balanced and placed equally in points table RCB looks more balanced unit than KKR. So you can expect a close encounter with RCB emerging victorious.