Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore will lock horns at Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Stadium in match 31 of IPL 2021 on Monday. Placed third on the points table with 10 points, RCB are favourites against the Eoin Morgan-led team, who are struggling at the seventh position.
The break due to the Covid-19 outbreak has given KKR plenty of time to ponder upon the strategies and tactics which will help them win the games and bounce back in the tournament. For Knight Riders, they need Andre Russell to play his A-game tonight. Russell is the batsman in their lineup who can score some very quick runs and help the team build a huge total. Also, the top order of KKR needs to show some consistency and pile up runs consistently in the powerplay without losing wickets. De Villiers has three consecutive half-centuries against KKR and so it will be important to dismiss him as soon as possible. De Villiers struggled against spin in the first leg and so Sunil Narine or Varun Chakravarthy might be able to take his prized scalp if they bowl in the right areas.
RCB is sitting comfortably at third place in the points table with ten points from seven games and will look forward to continuing the winning momentum. For RCB, the dream trio of Virat Kohli, De Villers and Glenn Maxwell makes the batting lineup look formidable. The arrival of Wanindu Hasaranga in the team also makes the spin department strong. RCB have all their bases covered but the only issue they can face is their death bowling. The onus to restrict opposition batsmen in the slog overs will be on Harshal Patel and Jamieson.
Kolkata Knight Riders - L L L W L
Four defeats in the last five encounters is a disappointing record for KKR. Also the team failed in both bowling and batting depratments whenever they lost. Varun Chakravarthy was the consistent wicket-taker for the team in these games.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - W W L W L
Bangalore has three wins and two defeats from their last five fixtures. They lost to table-toppers Chennai but a loss against Punjab kings was a shocking one. They won against RR, KKR, and DC. Harshal Patel picked 10 wickets for the team but leaked runs with an economy above 10.
Head to head
These two teams have met each other 28 times and KKR have won 15 of them. Thirteen times RCB emerged victorious. The average score of RCB against KKR in these matches is 152 while the average total for Kolkata is 159.
Kolkata has won seven times batting first while they won eight games chasing the target. RCB just won thrice batting first while they chased the target successfully on ten occasions. Virat Kohli has scored 730 runs against KKR while Russell has scored 339 runs against RCB. Sunil Narine and Yuzvendra Chahal both have picked 16 wickets against their oppositions.
BONS Royal Challengers Bangalore Predicted XI
Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers (wk), Mohammed Azharuddin, Wanindu Hasaranga, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal.
BONS Kolkata Knight Riders Predicted XI
Press conference Quote RCB
"The conditions in subcontinent this time of the year are pretty similar. Wanindu Hasaranga and Dushmantha Chameera are two guys who have played so much cricket for Sri Lanka and they understand how to play on pitches like these and their skillsets will be of huge help for us, playing in Dubai, understanding how hot and humid conditions can be and how the pitches will play out, they know everything," Kohli said
Press Conference Quote KKR
"Our goal remains the same and that is to qualify for the final. We have done it before and we can do it again. And we have the squad to do it. We have to start winning and there's nothing to lose," KKR chief mentor David Hussey commented.
BONS Match Prediction
Looking at both the lineups, it seems that the Royal Challenger Bangalore is going to win the match and cement their position in the race to playoffs.
The double-paced playing surface and some assistance for pacers makes it difficult for batsmen to score runs on this surface. Also, the ground has big boundaries. All this combination of the different elements plus the dew factor playing a role makes bowling first after winning the toss a wise decision. The pacers might get some swing in the start and also ones with pace variations might reap rewards from this surface.
Scoring has been traditionally difficult on this pitch as the average score was around 150. But since last year the pitch has turned out be a better batting surface. So a total between 170-180 might just be enough to win with a decent bowling lineup.
Match - Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2021 Match 31
Date - 20 September 2021
Time - 7:30 PM IST
Venue - Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Where to watch: The match will be telcasted live on Star Sports Network and Hotstar