Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bangalore stand-in captain Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bowl first against Kolkata Knight Riders in Match 36 of IPL 2023 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, here on Wednesday.
It is also the first reverse fixture of IPL 2023 to kickstart the second half of the league stage. The last time these two teams met in the competition, Kolkata won by 81 runs at the Eden Gardens.
Bangalore enter Wednesday’s match with back-to-back wins, while Kolkata arrive after four straight losses in the tournament.
After winning the toss, Kohli said Faf du Plessis will continue to play the impact player role due to injury and hopes for him to be back captaining the side from their next game.
“No brainer in bowling first. Evening game at Chinnaswamy, we’ve chased well here,” said Kohli.
“It was unexpected but nothing I’m not used to (stand-in captaincy). It’s been fun so far because of the way the team has been playing. Looks like a great pitch, the usual Chinnaswamy pitch that we expect,” he added.
Kolkata skipper Nitish Rana said pacer Vaibhav Arora comes in for fellow fast-bowler Kulwant Khejroliya.
“Second half of the tournament has started, it’s an important game. We’ve played some good cricket, some not so good. It’s time to step up. If we play well collectively, the result will be in our favour,” said Rana.
Kolkata Knight Riders: N Jagadeesan (wicketkeeper), Jason Roy, Venkatesh Iyer, Nitish Rana (captain), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Sunil Narine, David Wiese, Vaibhav Arora, Umesh Yadav and Varun Chakaravarthy
Substitutes: Mandeep Singh, Suyash Sharma, Anukul Roy, Litton Das, Kulwant Khejroliya
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Mahipal Lomror, Glenn Maxwell, Shahbaz Ahmed, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Suyash Prabhudessai, Wanindu Hasaranga, David Willey, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Harshal Patel and Mohammed Siraj
Substitutes: Faf du Plessis, Akash Deep, Karn Sharma, Finn Allen, Anuj Rawat.