Match 46 IPL 2017 (2017-05-07) @ Bangalore (MCS)
KKR won 4 of the last 7 matches between these 2 sides. In the match earlier in the season at Eden Gardens RCB bowled KKR out for 131. KKR then proceeded to bowl RCB out for an IPL record low score of just 49 runs.
RCB have only won 2 matches all season. Their current 5 match losing run started with that defeat against KKR. Their star batsmen Kohli and de Villiers are not performing to the very high standards they had last year. The middle order has been extremely poor. Shane Watson and Chris Gayle have also both not played well and look like they are towards the end of their careers.
KKR have won 7 matches and lost 4. They lost their last 2 matches against Hyderabad and Pune. Gambhir and Uthappa have both been batting well in the top order but the middle order has struggled at times. Uthappa was missing for their last match against Pune. KKR will be hoping he is fit again for this match.
KKR have the more balanced bowling attack. Both teams have spinners that have been bowling well but KKR have the better seam bowlers. It will be interesting to see if KKR keep Chris Woakes in the side or try someone else to prepare them for when Woakes has to return to the UK to play for England.
The Bangalore pitch has been much trickier this season than in previous years. There has been a number of low scores here in 2017 and it is not all down to RCB's batsmen not performing. The stats show that the pitch favors batting neither first or second in recent years.
KKR are 10 points clear of RCB in the Cricsq ratings. KKR have 92.5 points and RCB have 82.5. On Betfair early prices KKR are 1.82 and RCB are 2.2 (at time of posting this on the website the price of KKR was out to 2.0 on Betfair). KKR have a big incentive to win this match so that they remain in the play-off zone. By contrast RCB have no incentive to play apart from for pride. I have backed KKR to win.
RCB were humiliated yet again against Punjab on Friday when they were bowled out for 119. In that match Chris Gayle opened with Mandeep Singh and Virat Kohli moved himself down to number 3. Chris Gayle was out for a second ball duck. He now has 152 from 7 innings with a strike of 122. Singh scored 46 which is his top score of the season. He has 136 runs from 9 innings with a poor strike rate of 101. Kohli usually opens but batted at 3 against Punjab. He managed just 6 runs. This took his season total to 245. AB de Villiers bated at 4. He smashed a 6 and a 4 before being out as well. He has 206 runs for the season with a strike rate of 133. Kohli and de Villiers have not been able to repeat their heroics of 2016 where Kohli almost scored 1000 runs and de Villiers got over 700.
The middle order consisted of Kedar Jadhav, Shane Watson and Pawan Negi on Friday. Jadhav is RCB's top run scorer with 247. This is due to some good innings at the start of the season. He has been poor recently. Watson has just 67 runs from 6 innings. Negi has 126 from innings. He has played some useful knocks.
Stewart Binny and Sachin Baby have also been tried and have failed in the middle order this season. RCB have no where else to turn to in their batting. They need their batsmen to start applying themselves and not try to hit every ball for 4 or 6.
RCB's spinners have been good this season. Yuzvendra Chahal is their top wicket taker with 13. He has an economy rate of 7.4 an over. Pawan Negi has 11 wickets and has gone at 6.1 an over. Samuel Badree has only managed to play 6 matches. He has 9 wickets with an economy rate of 6.7 an over.
Aniket Choudhary bowled exceptionally against Punjab taking 2 for 17 off 4 overs. He now has 4 wickets from 4 matches with an economy rate of 8.9 an over. Sreenath Aravind is the second Indian seamer. He has 5 wickets from 9 matches with an economy rate of 8.5 an over.
Shane Watson went for 10.75 an over against Punjab. He has 4 wickets from 7 matches with an economy rate of over 10 an over. RCB have tried Mills, Milne and Stanlake as an overseas seam bowler. Milne has gone at almost 10 an over. The other 2 have gone at just under 9 an over. None of them have averaged more than 1 wicket per match.
KKR have been heavily reliant on Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa for runs this season. Gambhir is second in IPL run table with 411. He has a strike rate of 135. Uthappa is 5th in the table with 384 runs. He has an amazing strike rate of 171. This is the highest of all the batsmen who have scored more than 300 runs.
Sunil Narine has been opening with Gambhir as a pinch-hitter. He has 142 runs with a strike rate of 160. He has been dismissed cheaply the last 2 matches so it will be interesting to see if they keep him opening. Uthappa has been batting at 3.
Manish Pandey bats at 4. He has 341 runs with a strike rate of 137. He started the season very well but has not played as well in the last few matches.
Yusuf Pathan, Suryakumar Yadav, Colin de Grandhomme and Sheldon Jackson have all played in the middle order. Pathan has 121 runs from 7 innings. The other players have all scored under 100 runs. When the middle order has been needed it has not done particularly well. KKR need it to fire if Gambhir and Uthappa fail.
KKR's seamers have taken a lot of wickets but have struggled to keep the runs down.
Chris Woakes is their top wicket taker with 14. He has an economy rate of 9.1 an over. Nathan Coulter-Nile has 11 wickets from just 6 matches. He has gone at 9.1 an over.
Umesh Yadav has 10 wickets with an economy rate of 8.5 an over. Colin de Grandhomme has been used as a 4th seamer. He has 4 wickets from 6 matches. He has an economy rate of 8.8 an over.
Kuldeep Yadav is KKR's top spinner. He has 9 wickets with an economy rate of 8. Sunil Narine has disappointed only taking 7 wickets from 10 matches. He does have a decent economy rate of 7 an over. Piyush Chawla has played 3 matches. He has 3 wickets but has been expensive going at 9.6 an over.
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