IPL 2019 KKR vs RCB: Kolkata looks to reverse three-match losing streak

Inclusion of Dale Steyn could trigger a turnaround in fortunes for beleaguered Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Virat Kohli and Heinrich Klaasen play football at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Thursday.   -  K. R. Deepak

Kolkata Knight Riders will be eager to figure out its Plan B for acceleration in the death overs as it steps into the second phase of the Indian Premier League with an engagement with the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Eden Gardens here on Friday.

Lack of acceleration

The lack of desired acceleration, coinciding with the exit of Andre Russell, has affected KKR in the last two home matches.

After the West Indian’s departure at the total of 161 in 18.2 overs against Delhi Capitals, KKR could add only 17 runs off 10 deliveries. Against Chennai Super Kings, KKR managed only 29 off 31 following Russell’s dismissal at 132 in 14.5 overs.

For a side, which is yet to make an impact with its bowling unit, those 15-20 extra runs can make a big difference.

Russell has done this in the past and KKR will hope that the massive West Indian, who had an injury issue in the nets on Wednesday, regains his fitness.

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KKR — which had a welcome break following a rigorous schedule of five matches in 10 days — must have devised some new strategies, including who could be relied upon in case Russell misfires.

The only reassuring factor for the host is the good form of its batsmen Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Shubman Gill and Nitish Rana. Gill, perhaps, has not realised his potential because of batting down.

 

Captain Dinesh Karthik and chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav will be encouraged by their selection in the World Cup-bound Indian squad to play more freely and help KKR reverse a three-match losing streak.

Survival

For RCB, which has piled up seven losses against only one victory, every match is like a matter of life and death.

RCB has performed decently with the bat primarily due to the contributions of its skipper Virat Kohli, A.B. de Villiers and Parthiv Patel.

The visitor need the pacers to support its bowling trump card Yuzvendra Chahal, who has taken 37% of the wickets, in order to find a winning solution. The inclusion of Dale Steyn may trigger a turnaround in fortunes.