BENGALURU: After the euphoria of starting their campaign with a resounding win at home, Royal Challengers Bangalore were handed an 81-run pasting by Kolkata Knight Riders.
Last week’s contest at the Eden Garden witnessed Faf du Plessis and his men’s familiar woes returning to haunt them. The all-too-familiar death-overs bowling, fielders fumbling at crucial junctures and the middle order woes did the team in.
Back in the comfort of their home ground — the M Chinnaswamy Stadium — RCB will look to regroup as they play their next three matches at the venue. Lucknow Super Giants are first up on Monday night.


While RCB’s top-order batting, led by Du Plessis and Virat Kohli, has matched reputation with form, the middle order looks brittle. Dinesh Karthik is yet to warm up, while the Indian domestic batters were far from impressive against KKR.
With Rajat Patidar, their find of last season ruled out due to injury, the onus will be on players like Shahbaz Ahmed and Anuj Rawat to hold fort.
With the new ball, the pacers, led by Mohammad Siraj, have been effective, but in the death overs, they have the tendency to spray the ball and it’s imperative that they tighten the lines.


Spin duo Michael Bracewell and Karn Sharma will be vital for the Bengaluru franchise.
Lucknow, on the other hand, are coming into the match on the back of a five-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad and will hope for skipper KL Rahul to lead his team to victory in his backyard.


Another local player in the mix is K Gowtham. RCB will be wary of the big-hitting Lucknow line-up, especially at the compact park. Lucknow bat deep and their middle order, which includes Marcus Stoinis, Nicholas Pooran and Krunal Pandya, are match winners.
Lucknow are yet to win a match against RCB, but the teams have played each other only twice.


(AI image)


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