Royal Challengers Bangalore can tie the Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings on points at the top of the Indian Premier League by beating the Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday. The two teams meet at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, with Bangalore aiming to maintain a surprising title challenge. By contrast, the Knight Riders are struggling, currently one place off the bottom of the standings.
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In the United States, the match (10 a.m. ET start time) won’t be on TV anywhere, but anyone in the US can watch Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore live on ESPN+:
With ESPN+, you’ll be able to stream every single Indian Premier League match. It also includes dozens of other live sports, every 30-for-30 documentary and additional original content (both video and written) all for $6.99 per month.
Or, if you also want Disney+ and Hulu, you can get all three for $13.99 per month. Separately, the three streaming services would cost a total $20.97 per month, so you’re saving about 33 percent:
Once signed up for ESPN+, you can watch Kolkata Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore live on the ESPN app on your Roku, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV or Firestick, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox One or Series X/S, any device with Android TV (such as a Sony TV or Nvidia Shield), Samsung Smart TV, Oculus Go, iPhone, Android phone, iPad or Android tablet.
You can also watch on your computer via ESPN.com.
Knight Riders vs Royal Challengers Bangalore Preview
Bangalore sits third but the Royal Challengers are now looking up to the Super Kings after Chennai beat defending champions the Mumbai Indians by 20 runs on Sunday. Runs aren’t in short supply for Bangalore, thanks to a prolific batting order still led by captain Virat Kohli and South Africa’s AB de Villiers.
This is going to be an emotional season for Kohli, who has said he’ll relinquish the captaincy at the close of the campaign:
For now, Kohli and De Villiers are receiving strong support from Glenn Maxwell, who compiled 223 runs and put up two half-century efforts, per the league’s official website, before play was stopped back in May due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Left-hander Devdutt Padikkal proved he also score quickly by hitting 22 fours and nine sixes.
The Challengers have the men at the wicket to overwhelm the Knight Riders and run up the score. Trying to disrupt the Bangalore batting order will be tougher for Kolkata without Pat Cummins. The Australian can attack the wicket with pace, but he’s withdrawn from the IPL with a back problem.
Head coach Brendon McCullum can try a more subtle approach by letting Varun Chakaravarthy cause problems with spin. He’s a leg-break bowler who will give Bangalore’s big hitters something to think about. So will Andre Russell, who has arrived in Abu Dhabi after completing quarantine protocol.
Having Russell available will also make a difference to Kolkata’s batting order because the West Indies star is a terrific slogger who can pile up sixes in a hurry. If Russell and skipper Eoin Morgan are on form, the Knight Riders will have a great chance to keep pace with the Challengers.
Bangalore can mitigate the damage Morgan and Russell might do by turning Yuzvendra Chahal loose. He’s a somewhat mercurial leg-spinner who can take wickets in bunches when he’s at his best. Chahal will appreciate the pitches in Dubai because they’re favourable to a wildly moving ball.
While Chahal is struggling to regain his 2020 form, Harshal Patel and Kyle Jamieson took 26 wickets between them before the stoppage. Patel has 17 of those to his credit, which is why he’s leading the race for the purple cap.
Bangalore were big winners when these teams last met, taking victory by 38 runs back in April. Maxwell hit 78 from 49 balls, while De Villiers chipped in with an unbeaten 76 off 34 deliveries. They helped the Challengers set a daunting total of 204. It’s easy to believe Bangalore will set a similar tally this time. There are just too many heavy hitters in the lineup for the Knight Riders to control.