Eden Gardens, Kolkata is all set for a high-voltage clash between the two teams that have attracted the eyeballs no matter in what stage of the tournament they are. The home team Kolkata Knight Riders which looks a bit thin on the squad balance will take 0n the mighty Royal Challengers Bangalore which will be led by the champion batsman Virat Kohli.
Kolkata Knight Riders:
The auction of 2018 was perhaps the most disappointing for the Kolkatan team. After letting their stern captain Gautam Gambhir go, they could not sign many big names due to the presence of high-profile names which were already retained. The worries crept in with the injury to Mitchell Starc and doubts over the participation of Andre Russell and Sunil Narine.
Robin Uthappa will be one of the rocks on which KKR’s church will be built. He must stand resolutely at one end in absence of Gautam Gambhir. Chris Lynn will be his opening partner. If he manages to stay fit by the end of the tournament, KKR will surely be somewhere in top four.
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The young sensation from last year – Nitish Rana will have the responsibility of repeating his heroics from last year. Shubhman Gill, Dinesh Karthik and Andre Russell will complete the batting lineup. Narine may or may not open this time, he may come in to bat if Lynn fails.
The best aspect of KKR this year shall be the spinners. They have tremendous quality in Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine. Pace bowling is a slight concern since they have the bowlers who are either too young or too old.
Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn(O), Nitish Rana, Shubhman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell(O), Sunil Narine(O), Mitchell Johnson/Tom Curran(O), Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Shivam Mavi/Kamlesh Nagarkoti
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
If anyone is asked to pick an all-time T20 team, the two names on it definitely will be Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers. RCB have them both. Both are in great form too. In the recent Australia series, AB De Villiers played brilliantly while Virat did great too in India’s tour to South Africa.
All-round department of RCB is as good as it gets in the IPL. Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Colin De Grandhomme and Corey Anderson gives RCB the flexibility to adapt as per the required situation. Youngsters like Mohammad Siraj and Sarfaraz Khan will want to impress with their performance.The Auction 2018 was phenomenal for RCB. They managed to cover up every weakness in the team and improved their bowling exponentially. Addition of Washinton Sundar in the company of Yuzvendra Chahal will be a news to dread for the batsmen.
Brendon McCullum(O), Quinton De Kock(O)/Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, AB De Villiers(O), Sarafaraz Khan, Chris Woakes(O), Mandeep Singh, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Siraj, Umesh Yadav