By BD Narayankar
Bangalore: Apr 9, 2012
Riding high on their opening match triumph, Royal Challengers Bangalore would look to continue the winning streak when they take on a struggling Kolkata Knight Riders at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here Tuesday.
Led by Daniel Vettori, RCB beat Delhi Daredevils by 20 runs on Saturday and the New Zealander would hope his men would pull off yet another victory to make sure they don't go haywire after making a good start, which has been the story until last IPL.
On the other hand, after tasting two defeats in a row, Kolkata Knight Riders would look to reverse their fortunes when they play their third match against southern powerhouse RCB.
RCB were impressive against DD, both A B de Villiers and Muttiah Muralitharan starred with bat and ball respectively.
RCB were served well by wily Muralitharan's three for 25, after de Villiers set it up with a blazing 64 off 42 balls. He hit six fours and two sixes in an innings that gave Bangalore the platform.
On Tuesday, RCB would be hoping to get a rollicking start from Chris Gayle, who sat out due to fitness issues in the last match, and Tillakratane Dilshan.
Virat Kohli, the current toast of Indian cricket, would hope to fire after he had a brief stay at the crease scoring just eight runs.
If given a chance, Cheteshwar Pujara and Saurabh Tiwary, who know the conditions well here, can also make useful contributions.
The rest of the batting too has solid names such as Andrew McDonald, de Villiers, Mayank Agarwal and Vettori apart from a tail which consists of Vinay Kumar, Zaheer Khan and Harshal Vikram Patel, who all have skills to add a few quick runs.
KKR, on the flipside, have failed to capitalise on their good batting and bowling lineup so far. They first lost to Delhi Daredevils in a rain-curtailed game and Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.
In their next encounter with the RCB, KKR, who became the first team to lose both their matches this IPL, would look for a better batting performance and build partnerships to bounce back on the track of winning ways.
Losing nine wickets in a truncated match would be a cause of worry for any captain and this continued even in their next outing against RR where they lost four quick wickets in the form of Jacques Kallis, Gautam Gambhir, Brendon McCullum and Debabrata Das for just 25 runs in six overs.
Gambhir, who lost India's vice-captaincy to Kohli, would look to give a solid start along side Kallis. A good start would help players like McCullum, Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan and Laxmi Ratan Shukla break the shackles.
Tiwary would be desperate to prove a point to the Indian team management after being denied a single opportunity during the entire tri-series in Australia and the subsequent Asia Cup in Bangladesh. Tiwary was the only batsman for KKR to make a half century scoring 59 against RR.
RCB (Probable): Mayank Agarwal, Andrew McDonald, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers(w), Saurabh Tiwary, Cheteshwar Pujara, Daniel Vettori(c), Zaheer Khan, Vinay Kumar, Harshal Vikram Patel, Muttiah Muralitharan
KKR (Probable): Brendon McCullum (wk), Jacques Kallis, Gautam Gambhir (c), Manoj Tiwary, Yusuf Pathan, Laxmi Ratan Shukla, Rajat Bhatia, Brett Lee, Iqbal Abdulla, Debrata Das, Sunil Narine.
Time: 16.00 local (10.30 GMT)