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IPL 2024: Underfire RCB eye to turn tables around against in-form KKR

Updated on: 21 April,2024 07:05 AM IST  |  Kolkata
Arup Chatterjee |

Royal Challengers Bengaluru hope their weak bowling unit comes good against Kolkata Knight Riders’s destructive batting line-up in all-important clash at Eden Gardens today

IPL 2024: Underfire RCB eye to turn tables around against in-form KKR

RCB players celebrate the wicket of MI opener Rohit Sharma at Wankhede recently. Pic/AFP

Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) arrived for Sunday’s showdown with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all battered and blue. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) hammered the highest-ever IPL total on Monday and sent Faf du Plessis & Co to their sixth loss in seven matches. 

Home defeats for KKR, RCB

The Knights too come to the contest in the aftermath of defeat, and worse, both teams suffered the setbacks in their own backyards. That is where the similarities end; the contrasts in the two campaigns couldn’t have been more glaring. 

Despite a couple of losses, KKR have maintained their position near the top of the table, while RCB languish on the last rung of the league ladder. KKR’s slips seem like blips, RCB’s more like affirmations of a debilitating trend. 

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Andre Russell. Pic/PTIAndre Russell. Pic/PTI

Huge burden of expectations

An uneasy thought for the visitors will be that the current string of five losses had actually begun with that crushing defeat to KKR in Bangalore three weeks ago. Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 83 was pretty much the only bright spot for RCB on that occasion, and he comes to the Eden Gardens carrying a huge burden of expectations. Skipper Du Plessis is in decent form and RCB will be hoping the two quick-scoring batsmen provide the start they so desperately need. Dinesh Karthik, a former KKR skipper, has of late emerged as a fine finisher and he too needs to fire to put pressure on a well-oiled bowling unit.

The more important question, however, is whether the floundering RCB bowlers can stand up to one of the most destructive batting line-ups of the tournament. The likes of Phil Salt, Sunil Narine, Shreyas Iyer, Andre Russell and Rinku Singh can send a shudder through bowling units.

RCB, of course, have more problems than one—none more deflating than the pulling out of Glenn Maxwell. Mohammed Siraj, expected to be the kingpin of the bowling unit, was dropped from the SRH match on lack of form.

Much like MS Dhoni, ‘King Kohli’ enjoys a huge fan following here and the RCB red-and-blue is expected to make its presence felt amidst all the purple on the terraces. But, then, that can only be a side-story.

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