KKR vs RCB: Narine fires KKR to victory on Karthik's captaincy debut

KKR vs RCB: Narine fires KKR to victory on Karthik's captaincy debut

KKR vs RCB: Narine fires KKR to victory on Karthik's captaincy debut

The visitors lost Quinton De Kock (4) early, the South African wicketkeeper-batsman trying to reverse sweep Piyush Chawla (1/31) and picking out Vinay Kumar at short third man. McCullum and Kohli then engineered a 45-run stand for the second wicket. This time though, with the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Washington Sundar and Tim Southee, they have looked to plug the gap. With Gautam Gambhir moving back to Delhi Daredevils, Dinesh Karthik will be the one to lead KKR while RCB who's led by Virat Kohli will play all cards for a maiden win. We need to take wickets throughout the innings, that's going to be key this season.

In the seven IPL matches played at the Eden Gardens last season, quick bowlers picked up a total of 61 wickets (at strike-rate of a wicket every 16.5 balls), while the spinners collected 24 wickets at a strike-rate of a wicket every 23 deliveries. It's hard to accommodate him in my budget, and with RCB having a 4 game break after this one, I can't get two matches out of him (or from any other RCB players).

KKR, unlike RCB, have always been strong in the bowling department and this time also have wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla and the ever-effective Sunil Narine to bank on. A six each off Narine and Mitchell Johnson followed, sending ominous signs for Kolkata.

Everyone was in anticipation of Chris Lynn to come out and tonk the ball but all the hopes were thrashed when Chris Woakes scalped him with a cleverly bowled change of pace delivery. The team management then chose to go with Dinesh Karthik as the skipper, a decision which has been met with lukewarm response by the die-hard Kolkata fans.

A lot will depend on how the pillars - Narine, Lynn, Russell and Karthik - perform.

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Lynn (shoulder) and Russell (hamstring) are recovering from injuries, while Narine remodelled his action after his latest pull-up. It will be interesting to witness how Karthik grooms a team that is filled with inexperienced players like Shubman Gill, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Rinku Singh, Apoorva Wankhade, etc.

With the fall of the two massive wickets, Rana put KKR right into the driver's seat. There are some experienced worldwide players in the team who will help KKR.

Toss: KKR won the toss and chose to Field first.

They finished bottom of the table in 2017 but with Virat Kohli leading a better-balanced side, Matt Harris expects the Royal Challengers to kick off a more productive campaign with victory over KKR.

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