It will a battle of the third and fourth place teams in IPL 2020 as Kolkata Knight Riders will lock horns with Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi later on Wednesday evening.
Both the teams will eye a win and further bolster their chances of making it to the playoffs at the half way stage of the tournament.
The injury to Windies all-rounder Andre Russell is a major cause of worry to Karthik-led Knight Riders ahead of their clash against an upbeat RCB team, who comes into the contest on the back of a win against CSK.
Russell hurt his knee when he dived into the advertisement boards after missing a catch during KKR’s game against KXIP on Saturday.
“Whenever Russell gets injured, you know it is hard. He is a very special player, he is a very special person. We need to go and look at him,” KKR skipper Karthik said.
Hard hitting batsman Russell is an important cog in KKR’s formidable batting unit as the Knights Riders look upon him to provide the finishing touch with some blistering cameos. The injury too Russell will also be detrimental to their bowling plans as the medium pacers has been pretty decent at the death overs.
KKR have been pretty inconsistent with their batting efforts in the first half of the tournament with the batters not gelling well as a unit ..If opener Shubman Gill and Nitesh Rana and were good with the bat in the early stages; the woeful form of skipper Karthik and Sunil Narine has been a cause of concern.
While explosive middle order batsman Eoin Morgan has been up and down, the dismal form of opener Sunil Narine forced Karthik to promote Rahul Tripathi up the order to open the innings against KXIP.
Russell has been pretty lackluster in the lower middle order as he has been worked out by the opposition bowlers. The explosive all-rounder has had a quiet IPL 2020 by his otherwise belligerent standards with the willow.