IPL 2019, RCB vs KKR: Can Virat Kohli’s team stop Andre Russell’s juggernaut?

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Updated: April 5, 2019 8:01:34 PM

IPL 2019 RCB vs KKR: The Virat Kohli-led side need urgent improvement in all the departments of the game.

RCB Captain Virat Kohli

IPL 2019, RCB vs KKR: The Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on Kolkata Knight Riders at M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru in Match 16 of the ongoing IPL 2019. The difference between both the teams reflects not only in their points tally this season but also in their on-field performance. While RCB’s batting and bowling attack remained a virtual non-starter, KKR have emerged as the powerful contender for this year’s IPL title, largely due to Andre Russell’s top form.

The West Indies all-rounder has been destructive this season and is averaging 79.5 with a strike rate close to 250! His blistering knock of 68, 48 and 49* in last three games coming down the batting order has made up for the inconsistent KKR top-order including their opening pair. He has also bailed his team out of trouble smashing opponent bowlers to all parts of the park. If this is not enough, he has performed at par with ball and picked up at least one wicket each in all the three matches.

Also Read: We’re running out of time, need to win small moments, says RCB bowling coach Ashish Nehra

RCB, who were bowled out for a paltry 70 in 17.1 overs in their first game, have also been struggling with their bowling. Barring Yuzvendra Chahal, none of the RCB bowlers have impressed in the marquee T20 event. RCB’s bowling woes are aggravated by the underperformance of other bowlers who have conceded far too many runs in death overs and are not among wicket-takers.

In addition, the worrying form of Kohli and the opening pair of Parthiv Patel and Ab de Villiers continue to hurt RCB’s winning chances.

The RCB need urgent improvement in all the departments of the game. The English all-rounder Moeen Ali, who usually bats in the lower middle order for England, has scored only 42 runs from four matches so far. He has also struggled with the ball and his figures read 9-0-71-1 in four matches so far. For now, replacing with the young right arm off-break bowler, Washington Sundar can be a good decision.

Big-hitting batsmen in the form of Shimron Hetmyer and Shivam Dube have disappointed so far but have got the potential to score big against Russell’s blitzkrieg.

Also Read: We were competitive but needed more runs, says Virat Kohli after fourth loss

RCB expected Navdeep Saini to replicate his performance and do for RCB what he did for his state. But nothing of that sort has happened so far. This season, he has played three matches without taking a single wicket. Moreover, his economy rate has not been impressive at nearly 8.5. Bringing in bowlers such as Tim Southee and Nathan Coulter-Nile can make a difference for RCB. They have got the capability to pick some quick runs down the order and bowl tight spells to control the game.

With some tweaking in their side, RCB can register a much-needed victory to boost confidence in today’s game. Last time, the RCB beat KKR was in May 2016 at Eden Gardens. However, the Virat Kohli-led side have suffered defeats in their last three encounters against KKR at Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

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