In the 31st match of the IPL 2021 Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders will take on each other at Abu Dhabi. As the teams have been disclosed, one of the mainstays of KKR seems to have missed the selection this time- Shakib Al Hasan.
The contribution of Shakib Al Hasan to Kolkata Knight Riders is well known. The all-rounder has won multiple matches for KKR over the years and has been a significant member of the team. But in the first match of Kolkata Knight Riders in the second leg of the Indian Premier League 2021, KKR decided to field team without Shakib against Bangalore. Why this comes as a surprise to many, this was expected by most of the experts and fans.
Apart from Shakib Al Hasan, Kolkata Knight Riders boast of another two prime all-rounders in Andre Russell and Sunil Narine. After the succesful campaign of both Caribbean all-rounders recently, it was tough task to play the first match without the duo. While Narine was phenomenal, Russell set the stage on fire multiple times in the Caribbean Premier League just a few days ago. On the other hand, a team cannot play more than four overseas players. KKR already have one in captain Eoin Morgan and they cannot miss Lockie Ferguson in this very important match. Clearly, Shakib failed to make the cut for various reasons.
At Abu Dhabi, Royal Challengers Bangalore won the toss and chose to bat first. Virat Kohli winning the toss, said, “We will bat first. Looks like a good pitch, the grass will hold it together, will slow down as the game progresses. This one’s special, we promised back in May that we’ll play for the Covid warriors, here it is – we’ll auction this uniform and the proceeds will go to them. Two debutants for us – KS Bharat and Wanindu Hasranga”.
Morgan said, “Looks really good, it should stay pretty similar for the entire length of the game. Hoping that the performances will change in this phase of the tournament. It’s been challenging, but we are happy to be back here.”