The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, UAE leg, has been quite challenging for both Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore. Both teams had to battle it out till the last in the league stage to make it to the play-offs. With the elusive IPL title just two matches away, both captains Virat Kohli and Eoin Morgan are expected to bring their A-game to the fore.
Among other rivalries, the one between KKR and RCB has been quite a talking point among fans and critics alike. While the overall head-to-head favours Morgan-led KKR, the last five matches between KKR and RCB, shows the Bangalore-based team have a clear upper hand.
The 2017 IPL match in which RCB were wrapped up for 49 is still kind of fresh in both camps and whenever they face each other, the ghosts of the past do take the center stage.
In the head-to-head contest, KKR is leading RCB 15:13. And in the last 5 meetings, RCB has been a dominant force, leading 4:1.
Last five meetings:
September 20, 2021 - KKR won by 9 wickets (with 60 balls remaining)
April 18, 2021 - RCB won by 38 runs
October 21, 2020 - RCB won by 8 wickets (with 39 balls remaining)
October 12, 2020 - RCB won by 82 runs
April 19, 2019 - RCB won by 10 runs
This match-up will also be the first time when RCB is playing KKR in IPL knockouts/playoffs.
Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have struggled against spin in the UAE leg of the cash-rich tournament. With Andre Russell out, the inclusion of Shakib al Hasan could pay dividends.
However, if KKR has their hopes pinned on Sunil Narine, they might just have to reconsider it. In the 9 play-offs matches that the West Indian has players, he has struggled. He's picked four wickets and has an average of 8.60 with the bat in hand.
The RCB vs KKR match will be played at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah. The toss takes place at 7.00 pm IST and the match starts at 7.30 pm IST.