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Kolkata Knight Riders are going downhill very fast in this IPL. They started the season on a bright note but have fallen apart since then losing three on the trot and Andre Russell magic isn't working any more with the team completely depending on him.
However, they have a chance to resurrect their season against the Royal Challengers Bangalore who are more or less than out of the contention for the playoffs. RCB have won only a solitary game so far after playing eight matches and another loss will definitely crash the grim hopes of making it to the playoffs. Having said that, they have been boosted by Dale Steyn's arrival and he looks set to play in this game.
Though it remains to be seen if he fits into the fold quickly. Also, it remains to be seen who will be left out for him. Even Kulwant Khejroliya can play after warming the bench so far. KKR, on the other hand, are fretting over Andre Russell's injury who has been struggling a lot and despite that, has played in the last two-three matches. He was hit on the neck in the nets on Wednesday and it will be interesting to see who replaces him if Russell is rested.
Best economical pick: Parthiv Patel and Virat Kohli are set to continue at the top for RCB. They have looked in a good touch in the last couple of matches though their efforts have mostly gone in vain. Parthiv has got starts up till now and will want to convert them into big scores.
Top captains & vice captains: Andre Russell has got issues with his hamstring and wrists. Moreover, he was hit on the neck during one of the practice sessions and he immediately fell onto the ground. However, he is a must in the KKR eleven and also irreplaceable. He has been playing with several niggles all this while and might continue to do in the next game against Royal Challengers Bangalore as well.
AB de Villiers and Marcus Stoinis will be the side's top order batsmen and both of them have done a good job for the side. De Villiers, especially has been in red-hot form and they'll want him to sizzle at the Eden Gardens.
Smart pick: Sunil Narine hasn't been quite consistent with the bat. However, on his day, he can blow any opposition away. He has been also bowling decently enough and the skipper has been using him to bowl the critical overs of the match. He'll be having a massive role going ahead in the tournament.
Cautious Pick: Dinesh Karthik as well hasn't been at his best this season. He is yet to play a big knock and is getting out after getting the starts. He is the leader of the side and needs to take the responsibility of putting his team in a good position.
My XI: Andre Russell (Captain), AB de Villiers (Vice-Captain), Parthiv Patel, Sunil Narine, Virat Kohli, Nitish Rana,Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Moeen Ali, Shubman Gill