Both Kolkata and Bangalore have lost their previous Indian T20 League games without much fight and they would be hoping to go all-out this time as the tournament enters its middle phase. Their clash at the Narendra Modi Stadium on May 3, Monday, will hold the key in their side’s respective fortunes. Interestingly, in spite of occupying the 3rd spot in the points table, Bangalore have their Net Run Rate (NRR) in negative.
On Friday, Bangalore were handed a 34-run defeat by Punjab as a stylish 91-run knock by KL Rahul blew them away.
Kolkata, on the other hand, suffered a 7-wicket loss against Delhi as Prithvi Shaw hammered a brilliant 82 that also included six consecutive boundaries off a Shivam Mavi over.
Kolkata vs Bangalore probable playing XI
Kolkata had brought in young pacer Shivam Mavi to replace Kamlesh Nagarkoti without much luck. However, they would want to stick to the same combination and give this playing XI another chance to secure a win. With a win absolutely required to keep their playoff hopes alive, Kolkata will aim to go full power tomorrow.
Kolkata predicted XI: Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (captain), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (wicket-keeper), Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Prasidh Krishna
Bangalore brought in Rajat Patidar at No.3 versus Punjab but the youngster failed to capitalise on the opportunity by scoring a 30-ball 31 as the run rate pressure kept building. Skipper Virat Kohli backed him saying he is a quality player and henceforth he is likely to get continued support for the next couple of matches.
Bangalore predicted XI: Virat Kohli (captain), Devdutt Padikkal, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers (wicket-keeper), Shahbaz Ahmed, Daniel Sams, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
Kolkata vs Bangalore prediction: Who will win?
While both teams look strong on paper, it is Bangalore that has risen to the occasion more often than not this season as compared to Kolkata. The latter do not look as threatening and have hardly put up a show barring a few striking performances. However, on a given day with a fresh contest on cards, it remains to be seen who knocks out the other.
Overall, Kolkata have won seven matches batting first as opposed to Bangalore who have won just three. Considering the course of the tournament, Kolkata need a win desperately to stay afloat in the tournament while a win for Bangalore will further cement their top 4 chances.
Judging by the current form, one can rightly put their money on B.
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Top Tip: Best Batsmen
For Kolkata, Andre Russell holds the key once again as Kolkata would look for him to rescue the side out of difficult situations and post a big score on the board. His tally stands at 163 runs with one 50+ score and is the team’s highest run-scorer behind Nitish Rana and Rahul Tripathi.
Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli will be the man to watch out for as they eye another win. With a high score of an unbeaten 72, Kohli has amassed 198 runs so far and a big knock is due anytime soon.
Top Tip: Best Bowlers
For Kolkata, Pat Cummins leads the chart with nine wickets in seven matches at an economy rate of 8.83. Since he bowls in the powerplay as well as the death, he is expected to make an impact with some support from his fellow young Indian pacers.
Purple Cap holder Harshal Patel will be the go-to bowler for Virat & Co. at the death as he leads the league’s bowling charts with 17 wickets at an economy rate of 9.17. He has provided breakthroughs on important occasions whenever his captain has wanted him to.
Top Tip: All-rounder and Wicket-keeper
Kolkata are blessed with two game-changing all-rounders in the form of Andre Russell and Pat Cummins. Both the players have been in fine touch in patches and would be looking to make an even further impact as they face Bangalore.
With the likes of AB de Villiers around for Bangalore, he automatically trumps Kolkata’s Dinesh Karthik as the top pick. Also a dangerous batsman at No. 5, the former has carried his side home on numerous occasions and is definitely a threat for Kolkata.
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Feature Image: AFP/ Manjunath Kiran