Date & Time : Friday, April 19, 20:00 IST
Venue : Eden Gardens, Kolkata, India
Kolkata Knight Riders started the season well with four wins in the first five games, but now they have lost three games on the trot to settle at No.6 in the points table. The reasons for the turnaround has been their over-reliance on Andre Russell in batting and mediocre performances from the bowlers. On the other side, this is the last opportunity for Bangalore for any chance of making it into the playoffs.
Bangalore might consider replacing either Umesh Yadav or Mohammed Siraj with Dale Steyn. On the other end, if Russell is declared unfit for the match Kolkata likely to replace him with Carlos Braithwaite.
There was help for spinners in the last game at this venue, since it was a 4 PM starter. But it won’t be the same on Friday, as it is an evening game, so we can expect more runs in this clash as dew is likely to aid batsmen.
He demolished the Banglore bowlers in Chinnaswamy stadium, when these two teams met earlier in the season. He might replicate the same on Friday, as his numbers against Bangalore bowlers are in favour. With the exception of Chahal, Russel has a strike rate of >200 against all Bangalore bowlers who have at least bowled a minimum of 10 balls to him.
Generally, most bowlers struggle to bowl to players such as Virat Kohli and AB Devilliers, but Narine is an exception in that case. The duo have struggled against him, as Virat scored only 49 runs off 45 balls and Devilliers got out twice in the last 4 encounters.
He is coming back after a good knock against Chennai Super Kings, where he had taken the pacers to the cleaners until Tahir was introduced into the attack. He has the same pattern against Bangalore bowlers as well, as he scored runs with ease against pacers but struggled against spinners. So introducing spin early against Lynn would be the way forward for Bangalore.
It’s time for Virat to step up and give his team hope for their slightest chance of making it into the playoffs. His good record against Kolkata might serve this cause, as he got out only once to Kolkata bowlers in the last five T20s. He has to be aggressive against Kuldeep and Narine to come on top, as he has struggled to score runs against them in the recent times.