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Kolkata Knight Riders face Royal Challengers Bangalore in match 39 of IPL 2020 in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, October 21.  KKR at 10 points will hope to on level terms with RCB in terms of points. RCB, on the other hand, will look to get to 14 points and better their chances of playoffs qualification.

Both teams are coming into this game on the back of wins under their belt. Meanwhile, RCB got the better of KKR when both the teams met in the first leg in Sharjah. Abu Dhabi will present different challenges for both teams in this game.

Apart from KKR ‘s failure to perform as a complete team, the below-par performances of their overseas stars Andre Russell and Pat Cummins have kept them thinking. Both are key to how KKR has built their team up this season, however, their consistent failures have turned out to be a headache for the side. Both have not been able to adjust to the given conditions as well as they would have liked.

Batting wise, Shubman Gill has dipped with his form apart from the first couple of games and so has Nitish Rana. After hitting fifties to start their campaign both have tapered off very badly. Dinesh Karthik excelled in his finishing role in the last game. The management will hopefully stick with him as the finisher of the side. KKR’s batting position as a whole also seems puzzled and unsure.

Bowling wise, Lockie Ferguson was a welcome and a much-needed change in the line-up. Kolkata Knight Riders would be cursing themselves not bringing him on earlier in the season. He has been a good backup for Cummins who has been below-par this IPL. They would not like to change the bowing attack going into their next game given the variety it has.

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RCB, on the other hand, has looked a competitive outfit this IPL season. A few of their wins have been sparked by a certain AB De Villiers, helping the team to come back from behind. Their last game against Rajasthan Royals was an example of the same.

He batted at number six against KXIP the game, which drove a lot of questions towards the RCB camp. Virat Kohli, with 347 runs and two fifties behind him has been the backbone of their batting line-up. Aaron Finch and Devdutt Padikkal have been inconsistent, but effective so to say.

Their bowling attack has been headed by the two spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar. They have taken 18 wickets together and have tied the opposition batsmen down in the middle overs. Chris Morris has been a match-winner for them ever since he has played for Royal Challengers Bangalore in this season. He has already picked up nine wickets from just four games and has been an invaluable addition to the side.

Going into the contest, therefore, RCB is way ahead in terms of form and also in terms of a complete team. They head into this game as favourites, after humbling KKR in Sharjah.

Head to Head: Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

Overall, KKR are ahead in this rivalry by 15-10. However, in the last game between the two teams earlier in the season, RCB beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 82 runs hurting their net-run-rate a great deal.

Pitch & Weather Conditions

If the CSK vs RR game played on Monday (October 19) is anything to go by, the pitch played better in the second innings than the first. With no dew affecting the game, toss becomes a crucial factor in the match. Teams have preferred to bat first since the start of the back end of the tournament.

Team News

Barring Andre Russell’s knee injury, there are no injury concerns in the Kolkata Knight Riders camp. If he is fit to play, the KKR management will back him in this big game. Nitish Rana too will be given a longer rope despite his failures, given the absence of an experienced Indian left-hander in the line-up. There is no update on Sunil Narine’s availability for this game. His action has been cleared and he is available for selection.

RCB too will give a longer run to Aaron Finch despite his inconsistency. Despite being inconsistent, he is giving fast starts to RCB alongside Padikkal and they are not willing to break the combination.

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Squads

Kolkata Knight Riders

Eoin Morgan (c), Shubman Gill, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathi, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Andre Russell, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Pat Cummins, Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine, Tom Banton, Siddhesh Lad, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrior, Shivam Mavi, Rinku Singh, Chris Green, M Siddharth, Nikhil Naik

Royal Challengers Bangalore

Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel (wk), Aaron Finch, Josh Philippe, Chris Morris, Moeen Ali, Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Ahmed, Devdutt Padikkal, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Dale Steyn, Pawan Negi, Isuru Udana, Shivam Dube, Umesh Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Washington Sundar, Pavan Deshpande, Adam Zampa

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