KKR vs RCB: Virat Kohli’s troops look to paint the town BLUE
From setting foot into the IPL arena as a chubby and flamboyant youngster to becoming one of the most celebrated cricketers in the world, Virat Kohli has crafted a trail of records in the Red and Gold jersey. One might ask “what has changed so far”? A lot of things have remained as they were when it all began. The only thing that has changed is cherubic face has made way for a defined jawline. The skipper will script another record when the Royal Challengers take the field against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, in Abu Dhabi. He will become the first player to play 200 matches for a single franchise in the history of IPL. Much to the excitement of the fans, the team will don Blue Jersey as a tribute to the frontline warriors who have spent the majority of the last 18 months in PPE kits on Monday.
The two sides have had a contrasting start to the season. While RCB are sitting comfortably at the third position with 10 points, KKR seems to be languishing at the bottom with only 2 victories from 7 matches.
Boosted by the replacements in the form of Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmanta Chameera, Tim David and George Garton, several cricket pundits believe that the Virat Kohli-led side has all the ammunition in their armour required to go the extra mile in the competition. Apart from the likes of AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli , the onus will also be on the shoulders of Glenn Maxwell, who dictated terms during the first phase of IPL 2021, accumulating 223 runs in just 6 innings.
On the bowling front, the team looks settled with the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, and Kyle Jamieson. The arrival of Hasaranga lends depth to the squad courtesy his multidimensional skills. The Sri Lankan all-rounder, who was adjudged the Man of the Series in the recently concluded series against India, will be looking forward to joining forces with the spin wizard, Chahal.
Arguably the most potent weapon in RCB’s spin bowling attack, Chahal will look to weave magic yet again in the UAE shores. As things stand currently, He holds the record for most wickets taken by a spinner in the UAE, scalping 28 wickets. Both the leggies will pose a huge threat to the opposing batsmen, not only for the number of breakthroughs they get but also because they’ve been difficult to score off.
Harshal Patel, who made an impactful return for the Challengers, will be raring to carry forward the same form into the second leg of the season.
Needless to say, he has been Virat Kohli’s go-to man for breakthroughs towards the fag end of the innings. With a lot more variations in his kitty, he has developed a knack for picking wickets in the death overs. The pacer, who is into his ninth edition of the T20 league, had played only a handful of games before the start of this season. Interestingly, the first phase of IPL 2021 may have witnessed the coming of age of Patel. If there ever has to be one striking feature to point out, it has been how he has matured as a cricketer over the years.
IPL 2021 REWIND ft. RCB
- With 223 runs in 6 innings, Glenn Maxwell is the highest run-getter for RCB in IPL 2021 so far.
- Devdutt Padikkal holds the highest individual score by an RCB batsman in the tournament thus far. The southpaw achieved this record when he scored an unbeaten 101 against Rajasthan Royals at Wankhede.
- Harshal Patel, who returned to the RCB setup after a gap of four years, made quite an impact with the ball. With 17 wickets under his belt, he sits atop the top wicket-takers in the IPL 2021.
- AB de Villiers possesses the highest strike rate (164.29) for an RCB batsman in IPL 2021.
- Mohammed Siraj needs 5 wickets to claim 50 wickets in IPL.
- AB de Villiers needs 5 sixes away to complete 250 sixes in IPL. He will become only the second player to achieve the milestone.
- Virat Kohli will become the first player to play 200 IPL games for a single franchise.
Date: Monday, September 20
Venue: Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
Time: 7:30 PM [IST]
RCB: Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Yuzvendra Chahal, Devdutt Padikkal, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Shahbaz Ahmed, Pavan Deshpande, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Baby, Rajat Patidar, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Kyle Jamieson, Dan Christian, Suyesh Prabhudessai, KS Bharat, Tim David, Dushmantha Chameera, Wanindu Hasarangal, Akash Deep, George Garton.
KKR: Eoin Morgan (C), Dinesh Karthik, Andre Russell, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Nitish Rana, Prasidh Krishna, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi, Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Rahul Tripathi, Varun Chakravarthy, Pawan Negi, Tim Seifert, Shakib al Hasan, Sheldon Jackson, Vaibhav Arora, Karun Nair, Harbhajan Singh, Ben Cutting, Venkatesh Iyer, Tim Southee.