Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kolkata Knight Riders, XI Players, May 7, 04:00PM


Royal Challengers Bangalore Probable XI:

Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Travis Head/Shane Watson/Adam Milne, Pawan Negi, Samuel Badree, Sreenath Arvind, Aniket Choudhary, Yuzvendra Chahal

Kolkata Knight Riders Probable XI:
Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir (c), Robin Uthappa, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan/Suryakumar Yadav, Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes, Sheldon Jackson/Piyush Chawla Coulter-Nile, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav

Team News:

Royal Challengers Bangalore

There's a strong possibility that Chris Gayle could be playing his last game at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in an RCB shirt on Sunday. If RCB do release their ageing star at the end of the season, then this match will have served as a fitting finale to an outstanding journey. For it was against KKR, his former franchise, that Gayle announced himself to the IPL with a ton on RCB debut. It is also likely to be AB de Villiers's last game of the season with the the South African superstar scheduled to join the national team ahead of the England tour.

That apart, RCB still have a license to experiment and may just benefit from doing so. Shane Watson endured another forgettable day with both bat and ball against KXIP and it's hard to fathom how he'll keep his spot, even with his medium-paced deliveries and cutters ideally suited on a two-paced wicket. That could mean going back to Travis Head, who has greatly underwhelmed, or play an extra bowler in Billy Stanlake or Adam Milne. Eitherway, it's the batting that's crying for freshness and RCB wouldn't do much wrong by gaving another taste of the IPL action to some of the young Indian players in the mix like Harpreet Singh and Vishu Vinod. Mandeep Singh was accorded the freedom to open with Gayle with Kohli himself moving down to three. It's an order they would probably stick with given Mandeep's first innings of substance this season in the last game.

Kolkata Knight Riders
If Uthappa is match fit, he goes straight back in at No. 3. But if he's only fit enough to bat, then Sheldon Jackson stays on just to fill in the keeping role. But if it's indeed Lynn that's the first to return, then KKR will be forced into a more complicated rejig policy with one of the seamers - possibly Coulter-Nile who was left shaken up with a blow to the helmet - possibly making way.The pitch in Bengaluru is ideally suited for KKR to bring back Piyush Chawla. He will come, however, at the cost of a batsman, which is a price KKR will gladly pay if either of the aforementioned batsmen are fit to return. Suryakumar Yadav's sprightly innings against RPS could leave Yusuf Pathan's place in doubt although the franchise has restrained from ever leaving out their impact star even during similarly barren streaks in the past.

What to expect: Would it be morbidly funny to expect another RCB batting collapse? No? Alright. If the hosts' often-paraded batting line-up has one parting gift to offer the home crowd, they'll be better off chasing under lights in a 4PM game. There's also the forecast of showers arriving late in the evening, which could bring in D/L/S into the equation.

History: The RCB-KKR rivalry goes all the way back to the first game of the IPL in 2008. The teams were tied 9-9 in 18 contests at the end of last year before KKR opened up a one-point advantage with their win at home in April. There's a little incentive for RCB to hit back straightaway in this return fixture.

Did you know?
-RCB have been bowled out four times this season. There's only one instance of a team getting all out on more occasions in a single edition - five for Deccan Chargers in 2010.
-Gautam Gambhir has scored the most runs against RCB in IPL - 630 runs at 35.00 from 18 innings. His opposite number Virat Kohli has scored just two fifties in 16 innings against KKR.
-RCB have lost their last five matches - the joint most for them in any season of the IPL. They had lost five in the inaugural season in 2008.

What they said:
"Tomorrow is a 4 pm game, and we saw the game last night and we saw that Bangalore's spinners did well, as did Axar Patel and Glenn Maxwell. From that point of view, spin bowling is going to play a big role and our spinners are looking forward to that challenge." - Simon Katich, on the newly-laid wicket at the Chinnaswamy.

"It's disheartening, I don't know what to say about games like these anymore. Happening far too many times for our liking, something we are not able to change. Anything we do is not working out. The whole squad is playing in that zone. We are not able to get a big score." - Virat Kohli can't put a finger on what's ailing his side this season.

Royal Challengers Bangalore (From):
Mandeep Singh, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadhav(w), Shane Watson, Pawan Negi, Sreenath Aravind, Samuel Badree, Aniket Choudhary, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Adam Milne, Sarfaraz Khan, Stuart Binny, Iqbal Abdulla, Travis Head, Sachin Baby, Avesh Khan, Tabraiz Shamsi, Tymal Mills, Praveen Dubey, Billy Stanlake, Vishnu Vinod, Harpreet Singh

Kolkata Knight Riders (From): Sunil Narine, Gautam Gambhir(c), Sheldon Jackson(w), Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Colin de Grandhomme, Suryakumar Yadav, Chris Woakes, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Robin Uthappa, Shakib Al Hasan, Chris Lynn, Ankit Rajpoot, Trent Boult, Darren Bravo, Rishi Dhawan, Rovman Powell, Ishank Jaggi, Sayan Ghosh, Ramsingh Sanjay Yadav

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