Having registered two wins and a defeat in three games, Royal Challengers Bangalore are up against Kolkata Knight Riders, who have won and lost a game each, in a day-nighter at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Ugadi Day.
Supporters of the Bangalore franchise would surely like to celebrate Karnataka’s New Year Day with a victory. Yes, they did win and lose a close contest each before powering away to victory against Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, Kolkata started off with a bang defeating Delhi but then crashed to a defeat against Rajasthan. All the same, KKR will not be as easy to overcome as Hyderabad were for the Bangalore team.
For, on paper at least, they have some exciting talent which has somehow fallen short in crunch situations in the past. Jacques Kallis, RCB’s mainstay two seasons ago, or Eoin Morgan can do far better than they have so far and skipper Gautam Gambhir will be hoping for just that on the morrow. Yusuf Pathan has been playing more on reputation than performances matching it while Manvinder Bisla can fire away on his day.
With bowlers like Brett Lee, Sunil Narine and Laxmipathy Balaji to fall back upon, Kolkata has a nice blend of attack and defence.
Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli fired away with an unbeaten, match-winning 93 against Hyderabad. Chris Gayle did that against Mumbai. AB de Villiers and Moises Henriques have been in good nick but Bangalore have not been supported enough by the bowling department.
Vinay Kumar has alternated between the good and the mediocre. Jaydev Unadkat has been tidy but not penetrative enough. Rudra Pratap Singh did bag three wickets but wasn’t really impressive. Spinners Muthiah Muralitharan and Murali Karthik are yet to work up any magic while Daniel Vettori is yet to play. As such, Bangalore might find it difficult to contain the opponent to smaller totals or even defend them. They would be hoping for the batting to come good all over again.
But then, every day cannot be a Sunday. All would depend on the total Bangalore would put up or have to chase. Surely, a keen contest is in the offing.