Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Date: Thursday, April 24
Start time: 3:30 p.m. BST
Live on: Sony Six, Star Sports HD, Star Sports 1 (India), ITV4 (United Kingdom), SuperSport (South Africa), OSN (UAE) SkyTV (New Zealand), Network Ten (Australia), Channel 9 (Bangladesh), Sportsnet and Omni (Canada), Sports Max (West Indies), Geo Super (Pakistan), Starhub (Singapore).
Weather: According to Weather.com, Sharjah will be very hot and sunny, with temperatures up around 38 degrees Celsius with only a slight wind to keep the players cool.
Despite being without star opener Chris Gayle, Royal Challengers Bangalore have enjoyed two very comfortable victories in the IPL so far this year.
Last time out against the Mumbai Indians, their bowlers also found a good rhythm and were able to restrict their opponents very effectively, with Mitchell Starc and Yuzvendra Chahal both coming to the fore well.
Having missed out on the playoffs in last year’s tournament by just two points, the Royal Challengers look determined to avenge that result and make a lasting impact this time around.
Meanwhile, things have not been so easy for the Kolkata Knight Riders, who have lost one and won one in what has been an inconsistent opening to the IPL for Gautam Gambhir’s side.
On both occasions their batsmen have fired, but unfortunately they were let down by their bowlers in defeat to the Delhi Daredevils last time out.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (from): Virat Kohli (capt), Parthiv Patel, Tanmay Mishra, Yogesh Takawale, Vijay Zol, Yuvraj Singh, Varun Aaron, Ashok Dinda, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Sachin Rana, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shadab Jakati, Sandeep Warrier, Harshal Patel, Nic Maddinson, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Albie Morkel, Mitchell Starc, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ravi Rampaul
Kolkata Knight Riders (from): Gautam Gambhir (capt), Manvinder Bisla, Piyush Chawla, Pat Cummins, Debabrata Das, Jacques Kallis, Kuldeep Yadav, Chris Lynn, Sayan Mondal, Morne Morkel, Sunil Narine, Manish Pandey, Yusuf Pathan, Veer Pratap Singh, Andre Russell, Shakib Al Hasan, Ryan ten Doeschate, Robin Uthappa, Vinay Kumar, Suryakumar Yadav
One batsman to start this year’s IPL brightly is Parthiv Patel, and he will want to continue his good run in this game.
Balancing the wicket-keeping responsibilities as well, Patel has shown himself to be an enormously capable player in Twenty20 cricket.
Jacques Kallis has made something of an inconsistent start to the IPL, but he is still crucial for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Dismissed for a golden duck last time out, he will be desperate to make amends and build a big platform for his side.