Match 6 of IPL 2022 sees the Royal Challengers Bangalore square off against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy in Mumbai. Their current head-to-head record favours KKR 16-13, while their prior contests at a neutral venue are evenly split at five wins apiece.
Despite suffering defeat in their opening fixture, RCB will feel somewhat pleased with their effort after they managed to post 205/2, with new team captain Faf du Plessis leading by example (88 from 57 balls) to register at least 75 for the third time in his last four IPL matches.
The obvious area of concern for Bangalore comes from the bowling department after they bowled 21 wides in their first game, a new IPL record. While Harshal Patel’s 1/36 effort (from four overs) was not poor, it was the first time in his last eight IPL matches that he had conceded more than 8.50 runs per over, hinting that opposition batsmen are starting to work him out. I expect him to be back to his best in this match.
With five players getting the opportunity to bowl and six different players having the chance to bat, KKR could not have hoped for a better way to ease into their season. Last year’s runners up already look like one of the teams to beat this season.
Bowling was KKR’s main weapon during IPL 2021 where they ranked first for the fewest runs conceded per game (149.70), and with a core of Shivam Mavi, Varun Chakravarthy, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell having been retained, one should expect a similar showing. The wildcard is Umesh Yadav, who after playing just two IPL matches across the last two seasons, took 2/20 against CSK.
Knight Riders, who beat Royal Challengers in the Eliminator last year, may have a slight edge on the back of a roaring start. Although this is a tough one to call, I’d put my money on the underdogs (KKR) to win this match.
The average first innings score at the Dr DY Patil Sports Academy Stadium is 180, the highest of any Indian ground.
KKR have a positive 9-3 H2H record against RCB whenever they win the toss or bat second.
Only Deepak Chahar (42) and Trent Boult (27) have taken more wickets than Umesh Yadav in powerplays since IPL 2018
Faf du Plessis (1170) is only one of three players to have scored 1000-plus runs in the tournament since the 2020 season. KL Rahul (1296) and Shikhar Dhawan (1248) occupy the top two spots
Nitish Rana has not scored over 40 in 15 straight IPL innings.
Players To Watch
Wanindu Hasaranga (RCB) has now played in three career IPL matches, with every one of those games seeing him register an economy rate of exactly 10.00. Facing him will be Ajinkya Rahane (KKR) who struck 44 runs in the opening match against CSK, but not since IPL 2017 has he had back-to-back innings in which he has scored over 40.