Deccan Chronicle

Bangalore look to continue fine run

- DC CORRESPOND­ENT

Royal Challenger­s Bangalore are riding on a crest of a wave after winning two out of their first two games this season. They would be keen on posting a hat-trick of wins when they lock horns with Kolkata Knight Riders here at the M.A. Chidambara­m stadium on Sunday afternoon.

With RCB finding an unlikely bowling hero in left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed and ‘million-dollar’ Glenn Maxwell ending his five-year drought for an IPL half-century, Virat Kohli’s team appear to have the right combinatio­n in their playing XI.

Maxwell’s dramatic change in IPL fortunes has been credited to Kohli’s admirable leadership. Kiwi Kyle Jamieson, who has added teeth to RCB’s pace bowling unit, too praised Kohli for helping him adapt to Indian conditions.

“He (Kohli) is such an experience­d leader. He is a skilful leader and the way that he approaches the games certainly complement­s the way I like to go about things. He is competitiv­e, he is aggressive and likes to take the game on, which is something I like to adopt as well," Jamieson said.

The afternoon game (3:30pm start) is expected to change the dynamics at Chepauk which proved to be a nightmare for chasing teams in the previous games. However, spin will

remain the most-potent weapon on a slow surface.

Kolkata are coming off a disappoint­ing result after dominating the game for a major part of it. KKR would be eager to see skipper Eoin Morgan hitting the top form. He hasn’t touch the double-digit this season. West Indian allrounder Andre Russell who was brilliant with the ball hasn’t performed well with the bat for KKR either.

Having scored back-toback half-centuries, lefthanded opener Nitish Rana is KKR’s biggest contributo­r.

Kolkata’s spin trio of Harbhajan Singh, Varun Chakravart­hy and Shakib Al Hasan managed to keep the opponent batsmen at bay in powerplays.

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