Faf du Plessis has won the toss and decided to bowl first in their second match of IPL 2022.

Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders face each other in match number six of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season on Wednesday. The match is being held at the DY Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai. RCB were involved in a cracking contest earlier versus Punjab Kings and went on to lose despite posting 205 runs. As far as KKR are concerned, the Knights had a complete show versus defending champions Chennai Super Kings. One awaits a solid contest on offer as both sides look to up the tempo and tick the right boxes.

Analysis of RCB

RCB will be hoping to see skipper Faf du Plessis take the charge once again. The former CSK man shined with a valiant 88 versus PBKS and hit seven sixes. He was also the second-highest scorer last season, helping CSK win the title. Faf will hope to continue in the same vein and showcase his mettle against a side he enjoys batting. In Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik, RCB have the desired experience to go alongside Faf. On the other hand, RCB need to improve their bowling. They delivered a lot of wides versus PBKS which in turn proved to be costly. Consistency is what’s needed by the RCB bowling unit and that’s a target they will have on Wednesday. Wanindu Hasaranga can be the trump card with the ball alongside Purple Cup winner Harshal Patel. The young Anuj Rawat can play fearless cricket.

Analysis of KKR

KKR are without Aaron Finch at the moment; therefore, a similar opening combination featuring Ajinkya Rahane and Venkatesh Iyer can be on offer. Sam Billings, Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana, and Andre Russell hold the cards for KKR in the middle. Sheldon Jackson was electric behind the stumps versus CSK and he will keep his place. KKR are likely to field the same XI, so there won’t be any changes in bowling too. This means Tim Southee will sit out. Pat Cummins is also unavailable, and it was learnt earlier that both he and Finch would miss the first five games. Therefore, KKR can field a similar side and get things in control. Varun and Narine can be real difference makers. One would want to see Venkatesh get to roll his arms as well. He can be pretty handy. Iyer looked sorted as captain versus CSK.

Head-to-head record

The two teams have met each other 29 times in the competition so far. KKR have the edge over RCB, pocketing 16 wins. Meanwhile, RCB have sealed 13 wins. Since the 2019 edition of the IPL, RCB have a 4-3 record in terms of wins versus the Knights. Last season, KKR beat RCB in the Eliminator.

What is the expected playing XI of both sides?

RCB predicted playing XI: Faf du Plessis (c), Anuj Rawat, Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sherfane Rutherford, Shahbaz Ahmed, Wanindu Hasaranga, David Willey, Harshal Patel, Akash Deep, Mohammed Siraj

KKR predicted playing XI: Venkatesh Iyer, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer (c), Nitish Rana, Sam Billings, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, Sheldon Jackson (wk), Umesh Yadav, Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy

Which team is the predicted winner?

Both sides are strong and have the desired personnel on offer. However, KKR look a bit more composed and strong. They have a much better bowling unit. Umesh Yadav can set the tone with early wickets, and that can expose the RCB middle-order. Narine and Varun can control things. With the bat, Billings and Russell can provide the muscle needed on a good batting surface. RCB are once again dependent on Faf and Kohli, and without the two, they can be asked questions. With the ball, RCB don’t possess that many characters needed. KKR need to keep Faf and Kohli in check and then play calmly to seal the deal here. They are a balanced side, something RCB lack.

Key details about the pitch, timing, and TV listing

The earlier match here between PBKS and RCB saw both sides score in excess of 200. The idea is simple to put quality runs on the board and then bowl in the right areas to keep control. Dew will play a factor and whichever side bats second can have a bit of an extra edge. The match will be telecast live on the Star Sports Network. Viewers can stream the same on the Disney+ Hotstar app (paid subscription). The match will start at 7:30 PM IST.

The major batting stats on offer

Former RCB captain Virat Kohli has 774 runs against KKR and can reach the 800-run mark. He has fired one century and four fifties versus the Knights. Faf can eye the 500-run mark versus KKR (427 runs). Shreyas Iyer, who has 2,395 IPL runs can get past former IPL star Jacques Kallis (2,427). Russell, who is known for big-hitting skills, can get to 150 sixes (143).

The major bowling stats on offer

KKR ace Narine has claimed 143 wickets, including 20 versus RCB. He can be a real threat. Russell, who has 73 IPL scalps at 26.56, needs two more to reach a milestone of 75. He can become the 37th bowler in IPL to take 75-plus wickets. He can also steer clear of Munaf Patel (74 scalps). Harshal, who has 79 scalps, needs two more to get past Irfan Pathan (80).

Dream11 Fantasy XI (Option 1)

Batsmen: Dinesh Karthik, Sam Billings, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Faf du Plessis, Nitish Rana

All-rounders: Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer

Bowlers: Umesh Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Harshal Patel

Dream11 Fantasy XI (Option 2)

Batsmen: Dinesh Karthik, Anuj Rawat, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Faf du Plessis

All-rounders: Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer

Bowlers: Umesh Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy, Harshal Patel

Dream11 Fantasy XI: Captain and vice-captain choices

Faf du Plessis: The veteran T20 stalwart is enjoying his time in the IPL. After scoring over 600-plus runs in the 2021 season, Faf smashed a fifty-plus score on debut for RCB. He is a class act and set the tone for his side with some real threat and clean shots on offer.

Venkatesh Iyer: The all-rounder can be a real handful for KKR with his batting at the top. He can take the charge and allow Rahane to be the anchor man. Venky can also be relied upon with the ball in hand. He is an excellent fielder as well and is a busy player.

Dream11 fantasy: Vice-captain choices

Umesh Yadav: The performance versus CSK will give Umesh plenty of confidence. His experience with the new ball can be immense for KKR. The veteran pacer has plenty of experience and has 121 wickets under his belt. He can set the tone for his side with some accuracy on offer.

Virat Kohi: The star Indian cricketer can be influential with his runs for RCB. A champion performer, Kohli had a sound game versus PBKS and that can help him with the desired level of confidence. He can look to play until the end and rotate the strike well.

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