Kolkata: Kolkata Knight Riders would look to lead in a new age under new captain Dinesh Karthik with a victory once they open their Indian Premier League (IPL) marketing campaign towards heavyweights Royal Challengers Bangalore.
As KKR search to create a new identity within the post-Gautam Gambhir period, it could not be a shock to see a packed Sunday Eden crowd rooting for the star Indian skipper Virat Kohli within the RCB jersey.
The temper of uncertainty within the home camp was aptly summed by their assistant coach Simon Katich who termed themselves as “underdogs” towards RCB, regardless of KKR main the head-to-head document 12-9.
Karthik’s final ball six within the T20 Tri-nation last win over Bangladesh final month despatched a well-timed assurance to the KKR loyalists. however, the Tamil Nadu wicketkeeper batsman has an envious job at hand to match or higher what Gambhir did because the southpaw led KKR to 2 titles in 2012 and 2014.
The first job after entrance can be to seek out the appropriate steadiness in what appears to be a weak middle order and inspire the speed attack which received depleted after the pullout of Aussie pace spearhead Mitchell Starc.
Karthik has an unknown entity in Rinku Singh, and three uncapped players in Shubman Gill, Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarcoti, recent from successful Under-19 World Cup.
KKR’s core is undamaged in Robin Uthappa, Chris Lynn, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav.
Head coach Jacques Kallis who has been with the aspect since their resurgence under Gambhir in 2011 together with Simon will look to information and help the brand new captain.
The trio of Lynn, Russell, and Narine, who’re their apparent selection as international gamers and type the spine, are coming back from respective setbacks.
Lynn (shoulder) and Russell (hamstring) are recovering from accidents, whereas their ace spinner Narine has remodeled his motion after his newest name for a suspect motion.
With no Starc, they’ve tempo bowling choice in Aussie veteran Mitchell Johnson who has not been at his best in latest months.
Englishman Tom Curran, Starc’s substitute, is a helpful all-rounder however he’s but to play in India and can be watched carefully.
KKR go into the match with glad reminiscences of skittling out RCB for the bottom ever IPL complete (49) right here final 12 months, whereas within the return leg Narine smashed the match’s quickest fifty (17 ball 54 ) as they made a double over Kohli’s aspect in 2017.
In current situation nonetheless, it could sound formidable.
Kohli’s stature as a captain and batsman has grown manifold in final one 12 months and the Indian skipper will look to finish the season on an excessive with the elusive IPL title.
Kohli and AB de Villiers will as soon as once more type a powerful top-order with 2,212 runs collectively in 53 innings, together with seven-century stands.
Historically a batting-heavy unit, RCB have confirmed the urgency in tweaking the aspect by letting go stars equivalent to Chris Gayle and Shane Watson.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (c), Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Andre Russell, Nitish Rana, Sunil Narine, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Shivam Mavi, Mitchell Johnson, Shubman Gill, Vinay Kumar, Rinku Singh, Cameron Delport, Javon Searless, Apoorv Wankhade, Ishank Jaggi and Tom Curran.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Chris Woakes, Yuzvendra Singh Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Brendon McCullum, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, Quinton de Kock, Mohammed Siraj, Colin de Grandhomme, Corey Anderson, M Ashwin, Parthiv Patel, Moeen Ali, Mandeep Singh, Manan Vohra, Pawan Negi, Tim Southee, Kulwant Khejroliya, Aniket Choudhary, Pavan Deshpande, Anirudha Joshi.