Struggling Kolkata will take on Bangalore in the must-win encounter of the Indian T20 League 2021 tonight. Both sides are coming off a disappointing defeat.
Match Timings: May 03, 7:30 PM IST
Kolkata and Bangalore will face each other for the second time in Indian T20 League. They have a different story in 2021 and Kolkata are at their worst phase. They made a positive start by defeating Hyderabad but suffered four consecutive defeats. They overcame Punjab but again lost to Delhi badly. They are still in the middle of the table but their manner of defeat question their attitude which was raised by their coach McCullum. Top-order is batting like they’ve already lost 5 wickets before the innings start. The poor strike rate put pressure on down-order and in the end, they fail to achieve a good total.
Russell looks terrific now and he has shown great intent from the past two weeks. Kolkata has to play fearless cricket if they want to change their fortune in Indian T20 League. They have to take bold steps to change the attitude first. Narine might be dropped and Shakib will be back in the side. Kolkata has to find a replacement in top-order as well. They have Karun Nair who can bat there. One more defeat will demoralize their team for the rest of the tournament and there is no chance of recovery.
Meanwhile, Bangalore are in a better position and poor performances of the bottom four will surely keep them in playoff contention. Bangalore are entering into this fixture after losing to Punjab by 34 runs, thanks to Harshal Patel’s quick 31 which helped them to reduce the losing margin. Kohli’s side has been exposed from last three games. They managed to get two points against Delhi but overall, their team performance was missing from last one week. Kohli is getting a good start but he is not converting it into big. Middle-order relies completely on ABD and Maxwell and this is the story of each season.
Bangalore can learn from Chennai who are producing match-winners from each game. Patidar looked good in a small outing which is a great sign. Death-bowling is now a concern and in the last three games, it failed to deliver. Harshal Patel went for more than 50 runs for the second time. His slower-ball strategy is well adapted by teams. Jamieson is off the colours and he now has the record of conceding more sixes this season. Siraj is the only quality bowler and Kohli has to try him in death instead of Harshal. Bangalore has to solve these issues before they get bigger later in the tournament.
Bangalore are unbeaten against Kolkata from the last four matches and they last lost to Kolkata two years ago. In the previous edition, they thrashed Morgan’s side twice by 38 runs and 8 wickets.
Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Eoin Morgan (c), Shakib Al Hasan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Pat Cummins, Shivam Mavi, Prasidh Krishna, Varun Chakravarthy
Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers (wk), Shahbaz Ahmed, Daniel Sams, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
Only in-form player in Kolkata side, 163 runs & 7 wickets so far
Handy with both bat and ball, 9 wickets so far
207 runs so far at an avg of 51.75
223 runs so far at an avg of 37.16