RCB and KKR ready to rumble! Can Bangalore avenge their loss to Kolkata?
KKR will face RCB in the first reverse fixture of IPL 2023|
The IPL 2023 match between RCB and KKR at M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday is expected to be a crucial one for KKR's playoff hopes. While RCB heads into this fixture with some momentum, KKR's recent form has been a bit lacklustre.
On Wednesday, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will contest in the M Chinnaswamy Stadium at Bengaluru to face Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the first reverse fixture of IPL 2023. RCB will come into the game with confidence, having secured victories in their last two games against Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings. Conversely, KKR has lost four consecutive matches, including their most recent defeat to Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.
As a result, RCB currently sits fifth on the IPL 2023 points table, having won four and lost three of their seven matches, whereas KKR is struggling in eighth place, having won only two games and lost five in their first set of league fixtures. It is imperative for KKR to win the upcoming match to maintain their chances of reaching the playoffs. Nitish Rana's team faces a challenging path in the tournament if they suffer another defeat.
Contrasting Fortunes of KKR and RCB Since their Previous Encounter
When the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) met earlier this season at the Eden Gardens, the match was characterised by fluctuating fortunes. KKR dominated the game, securing a comfortable 81-run victory. They batted first and posted an imposing total of 204/7, thanks to a half-century by opener Rahmanullah Gurbaz, a quickfire 68 off just 29 deliveries by all-rounder Shardul Thakur, and a late flourish from Rinku Singh (46 in 33 balls). RCB's batting struggled to put up a fight as they could only manage to score 123 runs, with Varun Chakaravarthy securing four wickets and debutant Suyash Sharma grabbing three wickets in response.
Since that match in Kolkata, the fortunes of KKR and RCB have taken divergent paths. While KKR's form has declined significantly, with four consecutive losses, RCB's fortunes have improved, with back-to-back victories against Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings
RCB batters at their usual best
Faf du Plessis has been in exceptional form this year, hitting five fifties and accumulating 405 runs to hold the coveted Orange Cap. His form has eased the pressure on Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell, who are also performing well. Despite Faf du Plessis' superb form this season, there are some concerns about his fitness as he sustained a rib injury while batting against CSK. As a result, he was unable to start in the playing XI for the matches against PBKS and RR. The team utilised du Plessis as a substitute batter in those games using the Impact Player rule, with Kohli taking on the captaincy responsibilities.
Despite Kohli leading the team in the last two games, RCB performed well, suggesting that the team management is content with the current arrangement. Meanwhile, RCB's bowling attack also looks strong, with Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh being the joint-highest wicket-takers of the season with 13 scalps each. Harshal Patel has also been impressive, taking ten wickets, including three against RR.
KKR struggling to find the proper rhythm
As the IPL 2023 season crosses its halfway mark, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are yet to find their best playing XI. The team has frequently experimented with its opening combination, and in its last five matches, it has been inconsistent. Venkatesh Iyer, Rinku Singh, and Nitish Rana are the only batters who have consistently scored runs for KKR this season. In the bowling department, the team has heavily relied on its spin trio, with Varun Chakaravarthy being the only one to hit double digits in terms of wickets. The lack of wickets from other bowlers has added to the team's issues, and the waning form of star all-rounder Andre Russell has not helped either.
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