Match number 58 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season sees Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders play the Eliminator on Monday. The winner between the two teams will battle it out against the loser of Qualifier 1 between Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings for a place in the final. So it’s a tough hurdle for both RCB and KKR.
RCB finished with 18 points from 14 matches with nine wins and five defeats in the league stage. They had a NRR of -0.140. Meanwhile, KKR were confirmed as the fourth team in the playoffs after a mammoth victory against RR did the trick with MI falling short with an inferior NRR. KKR finished with 14 points and had a NRR of +0.587.
After falling short against SRH in a run-chase, RCB clinched a last-ball thriller against table-toppers Delhi in the final league game. Srikar Bharat and Glenn Maxwell shared an unbeaten century-plus stand as the former hit the last ball for a six and won his side the game. Maxwell has been playing well for RCB and has mustered 498 runs already.
KKR have been altogether a different side in the second phase after being off coloured in April-May back in India. They have sealed five wins out of seven in UAE and quickly turned the NRR to finish with the best rate. The top-order has been excellent and the bowling has stepped up to perform well throughout. KKR are the in-form side at the moment.
Here we present all the concerned details to guide you through.
Key details of the match
The match is set to be held at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. It’s scheduled to start at 7:30 PM IST. Fans can watch the action live on the Star Sports Network in their preferred languages. One can also stream the match live on the Disney+ Hotstar app (paid subscription).
Here’s the preview
RCB will aim to pick the same XI that played versus DC as the hopes will be pinned on an in-form Bharat and Maxwell for making the middle-order get crucial runs. Virat Kohli, who has a decent record against KKR, will be needed to score upfront alongside Devdutt Padikkal. With the ball, the side has Purple Cap holder Hrashal Patel, who has been in top form. Yuzvendra Chahal, who has done well versus KKR, has been amongst the wickets as well. RCB need to build on the confidence earned from the win versus DC and be positive.
For KKR, the form of the openers will be crucial in terms of the desired start against RCB. Both Shubman Gill and Venkatesh Iyer have contributed immensely. The middle-order will rely on Nitish Rana and Dinesh Karthik for the fireworks. With the ball, KKR’s spin unit boasts of character. Besides containing teams, they have also taken wickets when required. In the pace department, Lockie Ferguson and Shivam Mavi have bowled precisely in the right channels.
Probable playing XIs: RCB VS KKR
RCB probable playing XI:
Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Srikar Bharat (wk), AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Garton, Dan Christian, Shahbaz Ahmed, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
KKR probable playing XI:
Shubman Gill, Venkatesh Iyer, Rahul Tripathi, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan (c), Shakib Al Hasan, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sunil Narine, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy, Shivam Mavi
Dream11 team prediction (option 1)
Batsmen: KS Bharat, Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli
All-rounders: Glenn Maxwell, V Iyer, Sunil Narine
Bowlers: Harshal Patel, Y Chahal, Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson
Dream11 team prediction (option 2)
Batsmen: KS Bharat, Rahul Tripathi, Shubman Gill, Devdutt Padikkal
All-rounders: Glenn Maxwell, V Iyer
Bowlers: Harshal Patel, Y Chahal, Shivam Mavi, Lockie Ferguson, Varun Chakravarthy
Which players can be the top picks in the Dream11 team?
The likes of Shubman Gill and Srikar Bharat can be picked in the batting unit. Gill has scored two successive fifties in the last two games and Bharat has been enjoying himself. He played a match-winning knock against DC on Friday.
Maxwell has been RCB’s main asset, being the top run-getter for the side. He has played with a mature head and taken the chances. He can be a thorn for KKR.
In the bowling unit, Harshal leads the show. He has 30 wickets this season. Ferguson, who is putting in a huge shift, can be the game-changer for KKR.
Dream11 fantasy: Captain choices
Glenn Maxwell: With 498 runs from 14 matches, Maxwell has taken his game to another level. He has already registered six fifties this season and was outstanding versus DC. Maxwell batted as per the situation and provided the impetus RCB needed.
Shubman Gill: The KKR youngster has stepped up when it mattered. His form is so vital for the Knights. With two consecutive half-centuries, Shubman will be buzzing with the desired confidence. He has 352 runs this season and needs to keep going.
Dream11 fantasy: Vice-captain choices
In terms of vice-captaincy, Purple Cap holder Harshal can be a top pick. He has bowled exceptionally well and is vital for the RCB side. Ferguson can be the other choice. He has bowled at great speeds and control to trouble batters.
The pitch in Sharjah has helped bowlers. The slow track has made life difficult. However, KKR batted well the other day here and showed the importance of playing as per merit. Pacers hold the key here with variations on offer.
What happened in the previous meeting between the two?
The previous meeting between the two sides this season saw KKR win. Prior to that, RCB had won in the first phase.
The two teams have met each other on 28 occasions in the IPL. The Knights have won 15, RCB have won the remaining 13 games.
We feel KKR will get past the line here and enter Qualifier 2.