Sunil Gavaskar feels that the Kolkata Knight Riders bowling attack can stifle Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL 2021 Eliminator to be played in Sharjah on Monday, October 11. The winner will play Delhi Capitals in Qualifier 2 at the same venue on Wednesday, to fight for a spot in the final.
A major highlight of Kolkata Knight Riders' resurgence since the start of the IPL 2021 second leg in the UAE, has been the brilliance of their well-roounded bowling attack. Chennai Super Kings' 172/8 in a last-ball finish has been the highest team score registered against Eoin Morgan's team. Apart from that, they have been clinical with the ball. They bowled out the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals for 92 and 85 runs respectively.
While fast-bowlers Shivam Mavi and Lockie Ferguson have taken the responsibility of picking wickets with the new ball, Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine and Shakib-Al-Hasan spun a web to restrict the run-flow while also striking at crucial junctures.
"Lockie Ferguson has been terrific for Kolkata, with his pace rattling the best, and if he bowls as well as he can and with the two mystery spinners Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy, Kolkata have an attack that can stifle the opposition," Gavaskar wrote in a column for Times Of India.
Gavaskar praised Andre Russell and believes that if the West Indies all-rounder is fit, he can bolster the middle-order.
"There is no news yet about the availability of Andre Russell, but if he is fit, then he will bolster the middle-order for Kolkata. He is just the kind of player who can turn a match with both bat and ball, so Kolkata will be hoping he is fit," Gavaskar added.
The former India captain also lauded RCBs wicket-keeper batsman KS Bharat.
"Bangalore after that terrific last-ball win over table-toppers Delhi will be buoyant for it was a newcomer KS Bharat who kept cool and finished the game with a six."It was a brilliantly paced chase and with Maxwell once again taking the lead with some audacious strokeplay, Bharat also began to open out and played some bold shots," Gavaskar wrote.