regular-article-logo Wednesday, 31 May 2023

IPL 2023: Crunch match for Kolkata Knight Riders

If Kohli, Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell perish early, Knights then can have reasons to feel more confident

Our Bureau Calcutta Published 26.04.23, 06:47 AM
Glenn Maxwell of RCB at practice ahead of their match at the Chinnaswamy on Wednesday.

Glenn Maxwell of RCB at practice ahead of their match at the Chinnaswamy on Wednesday. Twitter

When Kolkata Knight Riders thrashed Royal Challengers Bangalore by 81 runs at Eden Gardens in their first meeting this year, little could anyone comprehend how contrasting the fortunes of both teams would go on to be since then.

As both sides get ready for Wednesday’s clash at the Chinnaswamy in Bangalore, RCB go into the game with back-to-back wins while the Knight Riders have lost all of their last four matches.


For Virat Kohli and his teammates, this is an opportune moment to cash in on the torrid time the Knights are going through and secure their third win on the trot. Bowling-wise, RCB, at present, don’t seem to have too much to worry about.

Tim Southee of Kolkata Knight Riders at practice.

Tim Southee of Kolkata Knight Riders at practice. Twitter

The consistent Mohammed Siraj is making early inroads, spinner Wanindu Hasaranga is striking at crucial phases and Harshal Patel has ensured not to give away too much lately at the death overs. It’s just their batting that could be RCB’s concern.

If Kohli, Faf du Plessis (still nursing a rib injury) and Glenn Maxwell perish early, the Knights then can have reasons to feel more confident. However, the belter on offer at the Chinnaswamy will not be making the Knights bowlers’ job any easier. Besides, barring young leg-spinner Suyash Sharma, the other KKR bowlers have largely been toothless and pedestrian.

To talk of KKR’s batting, they are still in search of an ideal batting order. Jason Roy looks set to return at the top, but the Knights should also ponder bringing Rinku — their most consistent batter so far in this IPL — up the order.

Owing to the top order's surrender in most of the matches, the Uttar Pradesh left-hander couldn't take his team home despite scoring two unbeaten half-centuries following his match-winning 48 not out against Gujarat Titans. Promoting Rinku up among the top four could well be the way forward for KKR.

Today’s match

■ Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders, 7.30pm, Bangalore, live on Star Sports & Jio Cinema

Positivity key for turnaround

Calcutta: Wednesday’s game against RCB is a must-win for Kolkata Knight Riders as they are searching for some momentum after four straight losses.

The Knight Riders, though, are trying their best to maintain positivity in the dressing room, something that’s key in this difficult phase.

“The talk in the camp is to just keep pushing hard, as we got to enjoy ourselves. It’s very easy in cricket, especially in short formats, to lose and in turn lose a lot of confidence too.

“But we’re trying to keep the confidence high, smile in the change room, making sure our methods do not change too much,” opener Jason Roy said on Tuesday.

“As individuals, we need to look in the mirror, get better each session and think how we can individually impact the game in a better way. We’ve had some good individual performances, which is a bit of a positive. But a loss is a loss.

“We’ve got to draw a line in the sand now that half of the tournament is done for us,” Roy added.

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