IPL 2018: Up against KKR, embattled RCB seek revival

Coming off a heartbreaking loss, the Indian Premier League game against Kolkata on Sunday will be a test of character for embattled Bangalore, who have left themselves with a little margin for error after a string of reverses.

IPL 2018: Up against KKR, embattled RCB seek revival
AB de Villiers is key to RCB's chances. (Twitter)

Bengaluru: Coming off a heartbreaking loss, the Indian Premier League game against Kolkata on Sunday will be a test of character for embattled Bangalore, who have left themselves with a little margin for error after a string of reverses.

RCB are presently struggling with two wins and four defeats, while the visiting KKR side has won three out of its seven encounters.

It remains to be seen how RCB have recovered from the painful defeat to Chennai at the Chinnaswamy Stadium earlier this week.

Though having a much better season than their beleaguered opponents, KKR too were stunned by Delhi on Friday night, and the two-time champions will be keen to get back to winning ways.

Last time the two teams clashed, KKR, under new captain Dinesh Karthik, successfully chased down a target of 177, thanks to Sunil Narine's blistering 19-ball fifty.

The spin trio of Narine, Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla also contributed to KKR's victory in the first leg.

For RCB, AB de Villiers has been in prime form this season, smashing 68 off 30 balls against CSK, and the South African maestro also singlehandedly downed Delhi with his explosive batting.

He ripped apart Delhi's bowling attack with an unbeaten 39-ball 90 to power his team to a convincing win.

After a brisk 57 and an unbeaten 92, skipper Virat Kohli failed against CSK, and he would be eager to produce another special knock in this crunch situation.

Opener Quinton De Kock, who has scored 165 runs so far, would like to carry on with his good performance after he had smashed 53 off 37 balls in the last match.

Corey Anderson and Mandeep Singh can also use the long handle to good effect.

On the other hand, KKR, having lost to Delhi by a big margin of 55 runs, will look to stage a comeback.

Their bowlers first leaked 219 runs, and then the batsmen, save Andre Russell, struggled in the face of such a mammoth total.

The top guns -- Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn and Dinesh Karthik -- will again need to live up to expectations by contributing in a big way.

Uthappa (164), Lynn (191), Nitish Rana (173) and Karthik (212) have been scoring runs, twice taking the side past the 200-mark.

The Chinnaswamy strip is likely to test KKR's spinners while young Shivam Mavi, who was smashed for 29 runs by Shreyas Iyer, and England's Tom Curran are likely to shoulder the pace bowling responsibility.

Australian quick Mitchell Johnson has got four games and taken only two wickets.

Russell has done a fine job for them and has so far scored 163 runs, and bagged three wickets in seven games. His brute power would be of immense use on the small and batting-friendly ground.

Teams (from):

Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Quinton de Kock, Brendon McCullum, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Siraj, Corey Anderson, Parthiv Patel, Tim Southee.

Kolkata: Dinesh Karthik (captain), Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Mitchell Johnson, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Shubman Gill, Ishank Jaggi, Nitish Rana, Vinay Kumar, Shivam Mavi, Tom Curran.