On the other hand, KKR began their campaign by holding SRH to a 10-run defeat. They should have beaten MI as well. But their batting could not hold up against an MI bowling attack that kept coming at them. KKR will have a tough task on hand when they take on RCB on Sunday in what will be the first day game of the series. It will also be interesting to see how the surface in Chennai behaves in comparison to night games.
RCB, along with MI, have looked the strongest side in IPL 2021 so far. Their bowling, in particular, has been highly impressive. Harshal Patel, who came up with a record five-for against MI, continued his good run against SRH as well, picking up key wickets at the death. Left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed proved to be another surprise success story, claiming three wickets in an over to stall SRH’s chase.
Kiwi bowling all-rounder Kyle Jamieson too has given a good account of himself. He has claimed key wickets at crucial junctures in both matches. They will however be worried over the form of their key spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who hasn’t looked menacing at all. Washington Sundar hasn’t had much to do surprisingly.
In the batting department, Glenn Maxwell has been their biggest plus with two good knocks. AB de Villiers was pristine against MI while Virat Kohli has looked good without converting his 30s. RCB will also like to see Devdutt Padikkal get among the runs.
For KKR, Nitish Rana has excelled at the top of the other with two fifties. He looked in complete control against MI as well. But after he was stumped going down the pitch to Rahul Chahar, KKR crumbled under pressure. The form of Rahul Tripathi augurs well for KKR. Shubman Gill needs to convert starts while skipper Eoin Morgan, Shakib Al Hasan and Andre Russell need to contribute with the bat. They and Dinesh Karthik stalled the chase against MI.
In the bowling, Pat Cummins has been proficient while Prasidh Krishna has had a mixed run so far. Varun Chakravarthy is beginning to find his rhythm while Harbhajan Singh hasn’t had much to do. Russell was the surprise star against MI with five wickets while Shakib also kept things extremely tight.
RCB: Virat Kohli (C), Devdutt Padikkal, Shahbaz Ahmed, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers (WK), Washington Sundar, Daniel Christian, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
KKR: Nitish Rana, Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (C), Shakib Al Hasan, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Andre Russell, Pat Cummins, Harbhajan Singh, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy
--Renin Wilben Albert