Karthik, riding high after an unbeaten eight-ball 29 where he clobbered a last-ball six to singlehandedly guide India to a four-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the final of the Nidahas Trophy T20I Tri-series in Sri Lanka, will have his task cut out. It is Dinesh Karthik vs Virat Kohli as Kolkata Knight Riders take on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the majestic Eden Gardens. We need to take wickets throughout the innings, that's going to be key this season. When he stood at the top of his mark to bowl the fourth over to Narine, having gone for only four in his first over, it was Royal Challengers' big chance to seize control of the game and undo an embarrassing losing streak, one that began with being bowled out for 49 at this very venue a year ago. Players like Colin de Grandhomme, Chris Woakes and Umesh Yadav who were with KKR previous year have now joined RCB which will attract many fans. The team has great hopes from Lynn to deliver some good runs.
Bowling with a remodelled action after his latest call of suspect action in the Pakistan Super League last month, Sunil Narine returned with 1/30 while fellow mate Andre Russell conceded 10 runs from two overs. Though Piyush Chawla got better of his partner who tried to be cheeky by playing a reverse sweep very early in the innings.
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A lot will depend on how the pillars - Narine, Lynn, Russell and Karthik - perform.
He lost his partner, Chris Lynn (five) in the same over but he remained unperturbed and went berserk in the fourth over of Chris Woakes who was hammered for 6-4-4-6. It will be really interesting to see how the team performs under Karthik.
With the fall of the two massive wickets, Rana put KKR right into the driver's seat.
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Virat Kohli's side, on the other hand, will look to avenge defeat for the loss suffered past year after they were bowled out for 49 - the lowest ever IPL total.
KKR lead the head to head count by an impressive 12-9 record across 10 seasons.
Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Quinton de Kock (wk), AB de Villiers (wk), Parthiv Patel (wk), Sarfaraz Khan, Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, Collin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manan Vohra, Kulwant Khejroliya, Aniket Choudhary, Navdeep Saini, Murugan Ashwin, Mandeep Singh, Washington Sundar, Pawan Nagi, Mohammed Siraj, Corey Anderson, Tim Southee, Aniruddha Joshi, Pavan Deshpande.
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