190406 Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli and Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Andre Russell Image Credit: AFP

Kolkata Knight Riders pipped Mumbai Indians at the last gasp and made it to the playoffs because of two main reasons. One is the aggressive style of cricket they deployed in the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League, which began way back in spring in India. Not in the Middle East, their batsman went bang, bang from the first over and kept their net run rate high. This eventually helped them to top Mumbai Indians in the standings.

Secondly their spinners Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy played a key role in bowling tight overs and picking key wickets in every game. Narine, who has been with KKR for almost a decade, picked up 10 wickets in the 11 games he played, and also played a cameo with the bat against Delhi in Sharjah scoring a quick-fire 25 of 10 balls to win them the game.

Aside from these key factors, Varun Chakravarthy has been their trump card picking up 16 wickets at an economy of 6.5 and an average of 22. If both the spinners can get rid of Glen Maxwell — the ‘Big Show’ for Royal Challengers Bangalore who has been the main stay scoring more than 400 runs, RCB will face a tough challenge because AB de Villiers and the other batsmen have not fired. Moreover, Virat Kohli is also found wanting against quality spin bowling and I wouldn’t be surprised if Varun Chakravarthy and Sunil Narine bowl in the power play.

Anis Sajan with Sunil Narine
Anis Sajan with Sunil Narine Image Credit: Supplied

We need to see how RCB can tackle the KKR key spinners as this will decide how the match pans out. Narine had mentioned before the start of the UAE leg, that he has been through a lot and he wants to thank his bowling coach for helping his bowling action sorted and the backing he got from KKR franchise and he hopes he can continue the good work for his franchise and win more matches.