IPL 11: McCullum, ABD, Mandeep shine, Bangalore posts 176

IPL 11: McCullum, ABD, Mandeep shine, Bangalore posts 176

Javier Howell
April 9, 2018

He scored 34 off 25 balls and four boundaries in a sensible knock.

Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to put their disastrous 2017 campaign behind them when they travel to Kolkata to play the Knight Riders in their tournament opener on Sunday (18:30).

This time, the KKR franchise tried to completely revamp the team including replacing Gautam Gambhir under whom the franchise won the two titles.

Karthik, riding high after an unbeaten eight-ball 29 where he clobbered a last-ball six to singlehandedly guide India to a four-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the final of the Nidahas Trophy T20I Tri-series in Sri Lanka, will have his task cut out.

Part-time perfection: Commentators were baffled when Dinesh Karthik opted to turn to part-time spinner Nitish Rana with superstars AB De Villiers and Virat Kohli occupying the crease.

"I'm aware of the expectations". So there is a more chance for KKR to win the game today. This match was also Kohli and Uthappa's 150th match in the IPL.

RCB seem far more balanced than before with the arrival of Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock, Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes and Corey Anderson.

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RCB have always been weak when it comes to their bowling unit.

In the bowling department, New Zealand seamer Tim Southee and England's Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali have been brought in to support the talented Indian bowlers Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Washington Sundar and Pawan Negi. We need to take wickets throughout the innings, that's going to be key this season.

"The auction has gone pretty well for us", Kohli was quoted as saying by Business Standard. However, they were hit by an injury concern as pace spearhead Mitchell Starc was ruled out of this year's IPL. But his next two deliveries saw De Villiers mistime a pull shot into the hands of Mitchell Johnson, and then slide one through the defence of Virat Kohli.

In the seven IPL matches played at the Eden Gardens last season, quick bowlers picked up a total of 61 wickets (at strike-rate of a wicket every 16.5 balls), while the spinners collected 24 wickets at a strike-rate of a wicket every 23 deliveries. But, Kolkata are a new-look side with Dinesh Karthik as their captain and some young blood in the team. Players like Chris Lynn and Andre Russell are definitely among the players to watch out for. Though Piyush Chawla got better of his partner who tried to be cheeky by playing a reverse sweep very early in the innings.

The trio of Lynn, Russell and Narine, who are their obvious choice as foreigners, are coming back from respective setbacks. It will be interesting to witness how Karthik grooms a team that is filled with inexperienced players like Shubman Gill, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Rinku Singh, Apoorva Wankhade, etc.

Lynn may also be skinny at [3.3] but he's the key wicket and could deliver the profit whether he ruins the match tip or not.

Toss: KKR won the toss and made a decision to Field first.