SunilJoy: “No place for Kuldeep in KKR too? Definitely there’s lot of competition among Indian pool of cricketers.” — The fact that he can’t quite swing around his bat makes all the difference in the end; a Narine can pretty well do that, which means he brings further depth in batting.
Mustafa Moudi: “@Stuart: Though Deep KKR’s Batting still is unreliable while, RCB’s Batting still looks dangerous. RCB’s bowling is stronger than KKR’s. So RCB still holds the edge !!”
Well, Royal Challengers are batting first, and doing that in Abu Dhabi. Know their record bating first at this venue? Ask Cricinfo has an answer, one which RCB fans wouldn’t like.
Manoj: “Is it confirmed who is gonna keep wickets , ABD or K.S Bharat” — It is Bharat.
Stuart: “KKR bat very deep whereas RCB have a very long tail. 2 or 3 wickets in the first 10 overs and RCB won’t make a score they can defend “
5.30pm So RCB have decided to bat first on winning the toss. Venkatesh Iyer’s debut for KKR has been confirmed. Two debutants for RCB: KS Bharat and Hasaranga.
Kohli says: “Grass covering is to hold the surface together. We think it is going to slow down as the game progresses. More special than the 200th game is this uniform: we promised that we would be playing for the Covid warriors, with these jerseys being auctioned for people.” And Morgan: “Should stay similar throughout. Team not drastically different from last outing. We had a lot of positives to take, and we are hoping we can turn it around quickly.”
Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Venkatesh Iyer, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Nitish Rana, 4 Rahul Tripathi, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 8 Sunil Narine, 9 Lockie Ferguson, 10 Varun Chakravarthy, 11 Prasidh Krishna
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Virat Kohli, 2 Devdutt Padikkal, 3 KS Bharat (wk), 4 Glenn Maxwell, 5 AB de Villiers, 6 Wanindu Hasaranga, 7 Sachin Baby, 8 Kyle Jamieson, 9 Harshal Patel, 10 Mohammed Siraj, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
“The way cricinfo’s site has evolved over the time with the accretion of new features is simply stunning.” — Our pleasure, Nick. Much thanks for the compliment!
Eshaan Govil: “As someone watching from Singapore, I really hope Tim David gets a game today!” — May you get your wish.
We are just 15 minutes from the toss, enough time for one quick look at
5.10pm It is very, very hot, says Nick Knight. And as he and Matthew Hayden look at the pitch, they observe some grass there, which is evenly spread. Tennis-ball bounce is expected, with spin also crucial through the middle overs. There is a lot of wind blowing from one side of the ground too, with a nice outfield there as well.
There is some time before the toss takes place. Until then, why not Ask Cricinfo? Wondering who has the better strike rate in the death overs in IPL – Ab de Villiers or Andre Russell? Well, here lies your answer. It is pretty competitive there.
Here’s AB de Villiers speaking ahead of the game: “Humidity is right up there. The sun is about to set… Virat’s 200th game today. The top five really enjoy batting together. I think there is more than enough talent. It is a matter of getting the job done, and getting the runs out there. There is definitely some hard work behind closed doors… It is fun to get ready for a tournament like this.”
Some eye-catching stuff has taken place in the last 24 hours – not least a pleasing 88* from Ruturaj Gaikwad – with Virat Kohli set to relinquish the Royal Challengers’ captaincy after this season concludes.
5pm Hey there! After a come-from-behind win by Chennai Super Kings against Mumbai first up on resumption, we move over to Abu Dhabi, where Kolkata Knight Riders play Royal Challengers Bangalore.