Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) played their opening match of IPL 2018 on Sunday night at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, where KKR beat RCB by four wickets with seven balls to spare.
Weak bowling attack
Source: Hindustan Times
The RCB bowling line-up lacks experience and is one of the weakest in the competition. Yuzvendra Chahal, Kulwant Khejroliya and Washington Sundar did not live up to their reputation in against KKR. Even Chris Woakes, who is one of the most experienced all-rounders in the RCB setup, underperformed. The bowling combination of average pacers and inexperienced spinners is one of the major reasons why RCB failed to perform well on Sunday.
Dependency on Kohli and AB
RCB batting failed to capitalise on the foundation built by Brendon McCullum and AB de Villiers. Constant fall of wickets kept the run rate in check. However, Mandeep Singh played a brilliant cameo in the death overs and smashed Vinay Kumar for 16 runs in the last over. He eventually was dismissed for 37 from 18 balls. But RCB managed to score only 176/7 despite having a flying start, where 200 looked a good possibility.
Young players not stepping up
In order to win matches, the whole team needs to improve their performance, ie both the bowlers and batsmen have to do equally well, which has not been the case with RCB in most IPL seasons.
Nitish Rana and captain Dinesh Karthik rebuilt the innings. Scoring a tad above run a ball, both rotated the strike well and did not miss on hitting looseners. Sloppy fielding and failure to convert half-chances cost RCB.
The Narine factor
Sunil Narine did for KKR what Lokesh Rahul did in the previous match for Kings XI Punjab against Delhi Daredevils. Narine blasted the RBC bowling and scored 50 of just 17 balls. He smashed the blowers all across the park and brought down the asking rate heavily. RCB didn't have a plan for him.