After the thrilling win against Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challenger Bangalore will be looking to consolidate their place in the top four against Kolkata Knight Riders.
The top two teams in the Indian Premier League 2020 are pretty certain. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) has been holding on to the third position for most of the tournament. They will be looking to cement their position in the top four when they come up against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) on October 21 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Meanwhile, Kolkata Knight Riders also need the victory to have breathing space for the chasing pack. They almost had the heart in their mouth in the last game as Sunrisers Hyderabad managed to take the game into super over from a difficult position. Eoin Morgan will be hoping that his team delivers a much well-rounded performance on Wednesday.
AB de Villiers is enjoying his best form in IPL 2020 at the moment. The South African batsman single-handedly won the game against Rajasthan Royals last weekend. RCB will be hoping that he continues this good form, while Virat Kohli’s handy contribution in every game is also a big boost to the team. The openers have also done a fine job for RCB, but there is scope for improvement in the scoring rate during powerplay overs.
On the other hand, KKR is yet to click as a batting unit in IPL 2020. They have enjoyed good performances from batsmen here and there, but the lack of big scores from premier batsman is a cause of concern. Dinesh Karthik and Eoin Morgan chipped in with good scores at the end of the innings against SRH. The middle-order duo currently needs to deliver consistently to take KKR to playoffs.
RCB has enjoyed a resurgence in bowling with the introduction of Chris Morris. When all bowlers were hit all around the park against RR, Morris was still able to bowl economic spell and take crucial wickets at important junctures in the game. A good spell up top from Morris also gives confidence to other bowlers in the team.
Meanwhile, KKR is yet to get a big performance from Pat Cummins. The Australian bowler was bought for big bucks, but he has been poor in most of the games. Cummins is finding it hard to take wickets and his four overs are also expensive. Varun Chakravarthy has been a superb bowler for KKR this season as he shifts the momentum in their favour during middle overs. The return of Sunil Narine on Wednesday will be a big boost for the underwhelming bowling unit of KKR.
RCB look destined to make it to the playoffs, but a win on Wednesday will help them to seal the spot. KKR still has a lead of two points over teams such as KXIP and RR. A win against RCB will make that gap to four points, allowing KKR to take big strides towards qualifying for playoffs. Considering what is on the line in this game, it should be an exciting contest on Wednesday.
By Kiran Thakare