Match 24 Preview: Royal Challenge for Knight Riders

The Knight Riders have so far a memorable tournament, while Royal Challengers have such a forgettable tournament that they may feel inclined to compare 2011 campaign with their poor performance during inaugural edition of IPL. Although KKR goes as favorite, still RCB has the depth in batting to bounce back anytime.

History
They have played each other 6 times in 3 editions and have shared the honours. 2008 belonged to KKR with 2 wins, one of which included the biggest IPL vivctory of any team by runs. 2009 belonged to RCB when they won both matches. 2010 saw them sharing a match each. Despite RCB reaching the knockout twice, KKR has a good record against them winning 3 and losing 3, despite having never reached the knockout stage.

2011 Performances
The Knights lost the first match again Chennai Super Kings, which they should have won, while won the close match against Deccan Chargers at home. Playing back-to-back matches against Rajasthan Royals, they first won the away match chasing a record total, and then ridiculed the Royals batsmen in the Home game. But, against Kochi Tuskers their batsmen could not even chase a target of 132.

RCB is on a losing streak with 3 consecutive losses after winnning the first game against Kochi Tuskers. In the second match they were thumped by Mumbai Indians. Then failed to chase high target against Deccan Chargers, and lost without fight against Chennai Super Kings. Washed-out last match against Rajasthan Royals gave them the required break from losses, and now they can restart the journey on a positive note.

Player’s Performance
KKR Player’s performance index shows comparatively better batting performance ass they have 3 batsmen scoring above 100 runs, while Royal Challengers have only two batsmen in the 100-club.

RCB Player’s performance index indicate 16 wickets for bowlers in 5 matches, one of which was washed out, but even KKR’s bowling unit has been more effective taking 29 wickets in 5 matches.

Head-to-Head: 3 wins Each
2008

    KKR def RCB by 140 Runs
    KKR def RCB by 5 Runs

2009

    RCB def KKR by 5 Wickets
    RCB def KKR by 6 Wickets

2010

    KKR def RCB by 7 Wickets
    RCB def KKR by 7 Wickets

2008 Performance
RCB finished second from the bottom winning 4 matches and Lost 10. KKR failed to impress despite 6 Wins, 7 Losses and one no result.

2009 Performance
In 2009, RCB finished 2nd best registering 9 wins and 7 losses. KKR finished at the bottom with just 3 wins, 10 losses and one abandoned match.

2010 Performance
In 2010, RCB finished 3rd winning 8 and losing 8 games, while KKR had a better season with 7 Wins 7 Losses, still failed to break into knockout stage.

Overall Performance
Due to the poor performance in 2008, RCB has more losses than wins, winning 21 and losing 25. With 16 Wins, 24 Losses, 2 No Result KKR has the worst record among the IPL teams.

Who Will Win Today!!
Kolkata Knight Riders are the favorites, yet besides the complacent batting display of KKR batsmen against Kochi Tuskers, other worrying factor for Knight Riders will be the RCB batting line-up filled with wonderful performers. Although RCB batsmen have failed to fire together, except AB de Villiers and Kohli, if they fire KKR can be in danger of losing another game.

Key Battles
Zaheer Khan vs Kallis/Gambhir
The two batsmen have played some exceptional cricket, specially Kallis. BUt last two matches have seen Kallis getting out cheaply. Zaheer Khan is yet to regain his peak form of World Cup, and perform well in last few matches, still with 5 wickets he is the best bowler of RCB. The winner of this battle can give a strong foundation to their team.

AB de Villiers/Kohli vs Lee/Shakib/Yusuf and co
AB de Villiers may not face Lee, but Gauti would make sure to throw Lee on him. Otherwise AB will face Yusuf and Shakib, besides Abdullah, the most impressive KKR bowler. Kohli will look forward to socre again heavily at the cost of KKR bowlers. The winner of the battle will take the match away.

Kolkata Knight Riders Squad
Batsman: Gautam Gambhir (Captain), Brad Haddin (WK), Eoin Morgan, Manvinder Bisla, Shreevats Goswami, Laxmi Shukla, Manoj Tiwary,
Allrounder: Jacques Kallis, Ryan ten Doeschate, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan,
Bowlers: Brett Lee, James Pattinson, Pradeep Sangwan, Jaidev Unadkat, Shami Ahmed, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Rajat Bhatia, Sarabjit Ladda, Iqbal Abdulla

Royal Challengers Bangalore Squad
Batsman: AB de Villiers (WK), Luke Pomersbach, Rilee Rossouw, Saurabh Tiwary, Mayank Agarwal, Muralidharen Gautam, Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli, Asad Pathan, Cheteshwar Pujara
Allrounder: Daniel Vettori (Captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Jonathan Vandiar
Bowlers: Dirk Nannes, Charl Langeveldt, Johan van der Wath, Zaheer Khan, Sreenath Aravind, Arun Karthik, BN Bharath, Raju Bhatkal, Nuwan Pradeep, Abrar Kazi, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ryan Ninan

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