Meanwhile, the Kolkata Knight Riders are yet to open their account and find themselves in the bottom half of the IPL table. They lost their rain-affected opening match to the Delhi Daredevils and then came up second-best in their clash against Pune Warriors India. They will need to start competing quickly, lest the rest of the teams run away and firm up their positions at the top of the table.
When Tuesday, April 10, 2011, 04:00 p.m.
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore missed their explosive opening pair of Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan in their opening fixture. While a groin injury kept the Jamaican Gayle out, Dilshan was busy competing in the Test series in Sri Lanka. However, both players are expected to be available for this fixture, and their inclusion will be a huge boost to the RCB line-up.
The wily old fox Muttiah Muralidaran may be inching closer to his 40th birthday, but even after bowling in excess of 15500 overs and taking 2183 wickets over 23-year career, he’s still got several tricks up his sleeve.
Kolkata Knight Riders will be hoping for their batsmen to fire. Brendon McCullum, Jacques Kallis and Gautam Gambhir have so far only managed 36 runs in six outings between them, and KKR will need a lot more from them to compete. Also look out for the dangerous Yusuf Pathan. The elder of the Pathan brothers will have fond memories of this venue – he played an absolute blinder (after India were in a hopeless position) and won a one-day international against New Zealand in 2010.
These two teams first met in the inaugural game of the Indian Premier League way back in 2008 when the Kolkata Knight Riders whipped their opponents by 140 runs.
Since then though, RCB have dominated most contests against KKR, and have gone on to win five off the 7 matches they’ve played against each other. In the last season too, RCB won both contests – initially registering a 9-wicket victory at the Eden Gardens, and then winning their rain-affected home fixture by 4 wickets. Trivia
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Brendon McCullum holds the record for the highest score in Twenty20 cricket. He scored an unbeaten 158 (for KKR against RCB) in the very first game of the IPL.
Kolkata Knight Riders’ Jacques Kallis has scored the most half-centuries in the IPL – 14.
Chris Gayle has contributed an incredible 32.64% of the runs scored by his team in the 12 matches that he has played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
After this match, Royal Challengers Bangalore hit the road for their first away game. They travel to Chennai to take on the Chennai Super Kings at the Chepauk on April 12. The Kolkata Knight Riders, on the other hand, head back home to host Rahul Dravid’s Rajasthan Royals on April 13.