Bengaluru open their campaign vs Kolkata © BCCI
Bangalore open their campaign vs Kolkata © BCCI

In Match 3 of Indian T20 League 2018, Kolkata face-off Bangalore in both sides’ tournament-opener. Dinesh Karthik, one who led India to an emphatic Nidahas Trophy 2018 last month, will spearhead Kolkata at Eden Gardens, and wish to add a historic chapter in his cricketing career. He has humongous shoes to fill post the superlative efforts of Gautam Gambhir, who lifted Kolkata to two titles — in 2012 and 2014. On the other hand, Virat Kohli-led Bangalore look a well-balanced side, and will be hungry for success after the shambles of the previous edition. The key players from Kolkata will be Chris Lynn, Karthik, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell. From Bangalore’s side, Kohli, Brendon McCullum, AB de Villiers and Yuzvendra Chahal-Washington Sundar’s combination will be handy.

Kolkata likely XI

Chris Lynn, Sunil Narine, Robin Uthappa, Nitish Rana, Dinesh Karthik (c & wk), Shubman Gill, Andre Russell, Piyush Chawla, Mitchell Johnson, Kuldeep Yadav, Kamlesh Nagarkoti/Shivam Mavi.

Bangalore likely XI

Parthiv Patel (wk), Brendon McCullum, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Sarfraz Khan, Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Prediction

Kolkata have always been high on energy and backed their side fully at home. In addition, the franchise have created few very good memories for fans too. Remember, they dismissed Bangalore at the same venue for 49 in the last season? (Well, the wicket-takers from that match have been roped in by Bangalore now). Kolkata’s home advantage gives them few brownie points but Bangalore’s well-oiled team makes them favourites. Kolkata lead 11-9 versus Bangalore in head-to-head encounters.