The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will be up against the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in game number 6 of the India Premier League (IPL) 2022 at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai on Wednesday. The teams will come up having faced opposite fortunes in their respective opening matches. Despite a splendid 88 from their new skipper Faf du Plessis and a 200-plus score on the board, Bangalore were still defeated by the Punjab Kings (PBKS). On the other hand, KKR got the better of defending champions the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their first encounter. Umesh Yadav impressed with the ball and Ajinkya Rahane with the bat. As KKR prepare to face RCB, let’s take a look at five player battles to watch out for.
1. Faf du Plessis vs Umesh Yadav: RCB captain Du Plessis and KKR pacer Yadav were the top performers in the previous match for their respective franchises. Du Plessis began very slowly, but once he got into the groove, there was just no stopping him. He threw caution to the wind and hit some marvellous sixes. In many ways, it seemed like he was continuing from where he left off for CSK in the IPL 2021 final. Yadav came up with a probing spell after a long time in an IPL game against RCB. He was quick and accurate and rewarded for the same. The Du Plessis-Yadav tussle at the top could be hugely significant in the context of the game.
2. Venkatesh Iyer vs Mohammed Siraj: This will be a fire vs. fire battle. KKR opener Venkatesh Iyer did not have a big role to play in the team’s win against Chennai. Hence, he will be hungry to get some runs against RCB. When Iyer fires, he automatically gets the team off to a great start. He will look to do the same on Wednesday. RCB pacer Mohammed Siraj had a mixed time in the first game. He first put the team ahead by claiming two consecutive wickets. However, it was his expensive spell that cost the team the match. Knowing the pride with which he plays, Siraj will be keen to make an impact at the start of the new contest.
3. Shreyas Iyer vs Wanindu Hasaranga: KKR skipper Shreyas Iyer played a nice cameo in the team’s win over CSK. He would like to dominate in the match against RCB. Iyer has been in spectacular form in international cricket in recent times. He scored three unbeaten half-centuries in the ODIs against Sri Lanka and did well in the Tests as well. Shreyas enjoys batting against spinners. However, in the middle overs, he will be up against the wily Wanindu Hasaranga, who will test the KKR captain for sure with his variations. It will be intriguing to see who comes out on top in this battle.
4. Virat Kohli vs Sunil Narine: Former RCB captain Virat Kohli struggled for fluency against Sunil Narine last year in the Eliminator. He got stuck at one end, eventually got frustrated and was clean bowled by Narine. In fact, Kohli has been having a lot of issues against the slower bowlers in recent years, who had got the better of him constantly. The experienced KKR spinner will be aware of the same. He will look to bring out his bag of tricks and unsettle Kohli yet again. Will the star batter have an answer?
5. Dinesh Karthik vs Andre Russell
We are not referring to Andre Russell, the batter, but Russell, the bowler. In recent seasons, KKR have played the tall pacer as a death overs specialist. He goes round the wicket to the right-handers and tries to stifle them with yorker length-deliveries. RCB will need a cheeky customer to throw Russell off his length and force him to alter his line. Dinesh Karthik has the ability to do the same. He played a splendid cameo against PBKS and will look to repeat the act against his former franchise – KKR.