KKR, unlike RCB, have always been strong in the bowling department and this time also have wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Piyush Chawla and the ever-effective Sunil Narine to bank on. The Royal Challengers will rely on the wily spin of Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar. It needed a big decision from Kolkata Knight Riders' skipper Dinesh Karthik and he handed the ball to Nitish Rana.
After giving a decent start to the team, Brendon McCullum was dismissed for 43 by Sunil Narine.
While rain is forecast for Kolkata on Saturday and Monday, Sunday is expected to be clear and if that prediction is correct, I would still prefer to chase while the side taking first knock should be looking to go beyond last year's average total and target something approaching 175.
But De Villiers ensured that the run-rate does not slide further as he lifted the atmosphere with his two stunning sixes off Kuldeep's successive deliveries.
Writing in his column for Times of India, De Villiers said the ongoing season of the cash-rich league was his eighth with RCB.
The mood of uncertainty in the home camp was aptly summed by their assistant coach Simon Katich who termed themselves as "underdogs" against RCB, despite KKR leading the head-to-head record 12-9. KKR have 2 matches in the next 3, so it's wise to load up on them. However, the men in red and black still boast one of the deadliest batting sides with the likes of Kohli, AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum, Sarfaraz Khan, Quinton de Kock and Corey Anderson. He ended the over with a bang, smacking a short ball for a six over mid-wicket as Woakes leaked 20 runs.
During the toss earlier tonight, KKR won the toss and chose to bowl first. The bowling did look better than previous editions, although spinner Washington Sundar had a rare bad day.
With the fall of the two massive wickets, Rana put KKR right into the driver's seat. Giving a solid support to his partner McCullum, Kohli looked for quick singles at different parts of the ground to keep the scoreboard moving.
Kohli's struggle to find his timing continued but AB de Villiers had no such worries.