For a free-falling Royal Challengers Bangalore, the clash against Kolkata Knight Riders could well be the match which defines their season. They need a win to get off the mark and Virat Kohli has to step up, as a leader and as the premier batsman for the side. KKR, though, have enjoyed themselves against RCB - they have all the four matches before this clash and are a team in form, which makes them favourites in this match.
For Kohli, this is a match where he needs to get the job done with the bat, for starters. However, there is a big problem - and this is his problems against spinners. From 2008-2017, Kohli scored 1621 runs against spinners with an average of 67.54. However, over the last two seasons, these numbers have plummeted - his strike rate has dropped to 111, and the average is a mediocre 23. Dinesh Karthik will surely use Piyush Chawla, Kuldeep Yadav and Sunil Narine against the RCB skipper and this is where the battle will start.
Form of AB is a big worry, more so against spinners
However, there is an added incentive for Kohli. He needs 61 runs to go past Suresh Raina to be the leading run-scorer in IPL.
Also, the form of AB de Villiers against KKR is not very promising if you are an RCB fan. The South African averages 24.92 against KKR in 18 matches - the lowest for him against any opponent. He's been out to the off break or googly in the three games so far, and this season he averages only 100 against spinners. He has struggled to pick the googlies this season and averages a measly 5.60 against the wrong un.
On the flip side, the form of Andre Russell against RCB is awesome. His strike rate against Royal Challengers Bangalore is 201.92 which is second best against all the IPL teams. He also smoked around 78.10 per cent runs from boundaries against RCB which is the third best after Delhi Capitals and Kings XI Punjab.
As things stand right now, Russell is the fourth best batsman this season with an average of 79.5. He is biffing the ball at a strike rate of 188.40 which is the best strike rate for KKR in IPL. When he will walk out to bat against RCB, he will need only nine more runs to complete 1000 runs for KKR. With the ball, he is just two wickets away from completing 50 wickets in the IPL for the Kolkata Knight Riders.