With one win from eight matches, RCB's chances of making the IPL 2019 playoffs appear slim. But bowling coach Ashish Nehra said a turnaround is still possible. Now, RCB face KKR in Kolkata tonight (April 19). Here are the probable playing XIs of KKR and RCB
Kolkata: Out of eight matches, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) have lost four and are now set to host the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) who have won only one out of eight contests in IPL 2019. Tonight (April 19), the teams face off at the Eden Gardens.
KKR are at sixth position in the points table while RCB are at eighth and last. For KKR, big-hitting star Andre Russell's fitness remains a concern after he was hit on the shoulder by a bouncer during practice on Thursday. He is doubtful for Friday’s clash.
When RCB hosted KKR in Bengaluru, Russell had left RCB bowlers stunned as he smashed seven sixes to score 48 off just 13 balls. Thanks to his blistering knock, KKR staged a remarkable comeback to chase down 206. When Russell came to the crease, KKR need 67 off 26 and they won by five wickets with five balls to spare.
RCB bowling coach Nehra, when asked about Russell’s fitness concerns, said, "As a cricketer, I would like to see him playing, and bowlers doing well against him and get him out. Fans also want to see good cricket. It's not for Russell to hit big sixes every time."
The Virat Kohli-led team will be bolstered by the inclusion of South Africa paceman Dale Steyn, who was signed up as a replacement for the injured Nathan Coulter-Nile. Nehra said Steyn could play on Friday.
"He (Steyn) is a very experienced campaigner. We have all seen him doing so well not only in Test cricket but for other franchises also," the former India left-arm seamer said.
Facing another must-win situation, Nehra said they are still hopeful of making the playoffs.
"We are always hopeful. We have seen teams qualifying winning last six games and with 14 points. We are not thinking of qualification but to play good cricket right now.
"We need to take one game at a time. We have lost a couple of really close games. It's all about winning those moments," he said.
Here are the probable playing XIs for tonight’s game
KKR: Dinesh Karthik (captain and wicketkeeper), Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell/Carlos Brathwaite, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna, Harry Gurney.
RCB: Virat Kohli (captain), Parthiv Patel (wk), AB de Villiers, Akshdeep Nath/Shivam Dube, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Yuzvendra Chahal, Pawan Negi/Washington Sundar, Dale Steyn, Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav.
Match starts at 8 pm IST
RCB: Virat Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kulwant Khejroliya, Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Dale Steyn, Moeen Ali, Mohammed Siraj, Colin de Grandhomme, Shimron Hetmyer, Devdutt Padikkal, Shivam Dube, Heinrich Klassen, Gurkeerat Singh, Himmat Singh, Prayas Ray Barman.
KKR: Dinesh Karthik (captain and wicketkeeper), Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav, Nikhil Naik, Joe Denly, Shrikant Mundhe, Nitish Rana, Sandeep Warrier, Prasidh Krishna, Lockie Ferguson, Harry Gurney, Matt Kelly, KC Cariappa and Yarra Prithviraj.
Last Updated 19, Apr 2019, 2:01 PM IST