IPL 2021 Playoffs, RCB vs KKR (Eliminator) Preview: Can Kolkata continue its magical run?
We have reached the playoffs stage, the business-end phase of the IPL 2021. In the Eliminator, Royal Challengers Bangalore would take on Kolkata Knight Riders in Sharjah on Monday.
Things would get heated hereon as we have reached the business end of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL), with the playoffs commencing. On Monday, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) would collide against former champion Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Eliminator at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, as we present the match preview.
RCB is placed third on the table, with nine wins from 14 matches and is locked on 18 points with former champion Chennai Super Kings (CSK), while the latter edges ahead based on the net run rate. As for KKR, it is ranked fourth, winning seven from 14 and has 14 points along with defending champion Mumbai Indians (MI), while the former leads on a superior NRR.
As far as the teams are concerned, RCB practically has a decent bowling attack with sufficient star power. However, its batting has been considerably inconsistent, lacking enough stars, while it is heavily dependant on skipper Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal and all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.
On the other hand, KKR is prominent in its bowling. As far as its batting is concerned, its top-order has been lethal for the opposition bowlers, mainly openers Shubman Gill and uncapped Venkatesh Iyer, along with Rahul Tripathi and Nitish Rana. The drift would continue with a particular focus on skipper Eoin Morgan, whose form has been volatile. At the same time, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Sunil Narine, Varun Chakravarthy, Lockie Ferguson and Prasidh Krishna, too, would grab attention.
RCB has no injury concerns. Meanwhile, KKR all-rounder Andre Russell struggles with fitness but is expected to be ready to go on Monday, along with pacer Prasidh Krishna.
The two sides have met each other on 29 occasions, with KKR leading 16-13, while in 28 IPL outings, RCB holds a lead of 15-13. Both have won two each of the four battles in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), while both have won a piece in the two Sharjah matches.
Weather and pitch report
The Sharjah weather would be fired, with an expected temperature of 38 degrees and 30% humidity. The track is assumed to remain stagnant, as has been its trend this season, while the shorter boundaries could help the batters.
RCB: Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Srikar Bharat (wk), Daniel Christian, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Shahbaz Ahmed, Harshal Patel, George Garton, Mohammed Siraj and Yuzvendra Chahal.
KKR: Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Shivam Mavi and Varun Chakravarthy.
Batters: De Villiers, Kohli, Tripathi, Gill- Kohli and Gill would provide the right start, along with Tripathi at number three or four, with de Villiers in the middle-order.
Wicketkeeper: Karthik- He is the only man in form in this section.
All-rounders: Maxwell (vc), Iyer- Maxwell has been impressive across departments, making him the deputy captain, while Iyer has been explosive as an opener.
Bowlers: Chahal, Harshal (c), Mavi, Chakravarthy- Harshal has been deadly with his pace, making him the skipper, while Mavi too has impressed under Krishna's absence. Chahal and Chakravarthy are sure to impact with their spins.
Date and day: October 11, 2021 (Monday)
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Time: 7.30 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar
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