All eyes will be on Andre Russell's availability when Kolkata Knight Riders host Royal Challengers Bangalore at Eden Gardens in Kolkata for an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash on Friday. Russell was hit by a bouncer on his left shoulder during net practice on Wednesday, the same which got hit by a Harshal Patel bouncer earlier this season. Whether the hard-hitting Jamaican is available will be of paramount importance for KKR as the home team look to break their three-match losing streak.
Russell was seen writhing in pain when he got hit by a ball bowled by a net bowler and KKR support staff were seen rushing to the ground. Team sources said there has not been any major fracture or dislocation but it remains to be seen whether he is fit for Friday's clash.
While Russell's availability is a big concern for KKR, who are placed sixth in the points table, there would be no shortage of inspiration for skipper Dinesh Karthik, who got the nod in the 15-member World Cup contingent.
RCB captain Virat Kohli has his own problems with the team all but out of the competition if they lose on Friday. Rock bottom on the table with just one win from eight matches, RCB just haven't been in the groove this year. From the remaining six games, they would have to win all to give themselves any chance of a playoff berth.
The Eden track has been a batting paradise and Kohli would also hope his floundering bowling battery get their act right, with experienced South Africa pacer Dale Steyn now also roped in.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Dinesh Karthik (capt), Sunil Narine, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Joe Denly, Lockie Ferguson, Chris Lynn, Robin Uthappa, Harry Gurney, Kuldeep Yadav, Piyush Chawla, Nitish Rana, Sandeep Warrier, KC Cariappa, Shubman Gill, Rinku Singh, Shrikant Mundhe, Nikhil Naik, Anrich Nortje, Prithvi Raj, Prasidh Krishna.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (capt), Parthiv Patel, AB de Villiers, Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Moeen Ali, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Devdutt Padikkal, Himmat Singh, Milind Kumar, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Heinrich Klaasen, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Akshdeep Nath, Prayas Barman, Kulwant Khejroliya, Tim Southee, Dale Steyn.
Match starts at 8 pm IST
(With inputs from IANS)