Preview by Ganesh Chandrasekaran
Bangalore, Sep 29: The game is between the two heavyweights of the tournament and one of the most eagerly awaited games too. One look at the points table though presents a different sight. Both teams are yet to cross the nought mark on the points table. Bangalore have played only one game and they lost against the Warriors while Kolkata have lost both their games and are on the verge of elimination.
Bangalore lost a close game and were in the match for a long time too. It was a brilliant knock from Ashwell Prince that eventually pinned them to the ground. Kolkata were on the receiving end of two very good batting performances too but were far from impressive even otherwise. In what is considered to be the easier of the two groups, both teams will be very disappointed if they do not chalk up some points soon.
Bangalore: Bangalore were struck a crucial blow on the eve of the big game when AB de Villiers injured his finger in a practice session. The newly appointed South African ODI captain will be out of the entire tournament. RCB could go for a straight swap with the SL skipper, Tilekaratne Dilshan, coming in. He can take up the wicket-keeper's slot too. Chris Gayle remains a threat as always. The big man was just beginning to get into his stride when it was cut short. KKR might look to counter this threat by opening with spinners. The RCB bowlers will be keen to work on their mistakes. They failed to close out after having the Warriors on the mat in the previous game and they cannot afford to do it once more.
Kolkata: Kolkata have their task cut out after two straight losses. Their bowling has been a huge let down while the batting still looks good on paper. They might be ruing their luck too as Roelof van der Merwe and Callum Ferguson chose to produce two stunning knocks against them. The bowlers will have to share the blame too. The batting unit looks in much better form compared to their bowlers. Yet there is room for improvement. Gautam Gambhir, returning from an injury, will want to lead from the front and have some big runs against his name. The two losses could also force the think tank to tinker with the batting order. A few people waiting in the wings will in all probability get a chance.
Final word: RCB have been handed an advantage as they get a home game against KKR. It was scheduled to be in Kolkata initially but shifted out due to the rains and they will be desperate to make it count.
It is very easy to blame people but I feel that there are times we played well and at times, we were ordinary - Gautam Gambhir
AB not being in the team is a huge loss. I'll probably have to take more responsibility now, we should just take it as a challenge – Virat Kohli
Kolkata Knight Riders (From): Gautam Gambhir(c), Jaidev Unadkat, Manoj Tiwary, Ryan ten Doeschate, Shakib Al Hasan, Shami Ahmed, Yusuf Pathan, Brett Lee, Manvinder Bisla(w), Iqbal Abdulla, Brad Haddin, Rajat Bhatia, Lakshmipathy Balaji, Jacques Kallis, Shreevats Goswami
Royal Challengers Bangalore (From): Daniel Vettori(c), Tillakaratne Dilshan(w), Sreenath Aravind, Mayank Agarwal, Abhimanyu Mithun, Arun Karthik, Chris Gayle, Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli, Dirk Nannes, Asad Pathan, Saurabh Tiwary, Syed Mohammad Jamaluddin