Kings XI Punjab take on the might of Royal Challengers Bangalore in what could be one of the biggest games of the IPL 2018. Kings XI need this win very badly to confirm their position in the play-offs. RCB need to win even more, as they are only on 8 points with only 3 games to go. A defeat at this stage means another disastrous IPL for Virat Kohli.
For Kings XI Punjab, KL Rahul has been quite outstanding. Rahul hit his third consecutive 50 a few days back. The only issue is that Chris Gayle has not really performed after his blistering start to the tournament. The other Kings XI players haven’t done much either.
Kings XI bowler Andrew Tye spoke about the need for the rest of the batsmen to make more bigger contributions: “We’d love to have someone other than KL [Rahul] stand up and go with KL, put a couple of performances on.”
It is the same for RCB, for whom, apart from Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, none of the other batsmen have stood up to be counted. RCB rely too heavily on these two. If they are in the game, they can win any match. But if Virat and ABD lose their wickets early, then it’s as good as gone for the Bangalore side.
The pitch at Indore is known to support big hitting batsmen, and we expect the same in this match. RCB spinner Yuzvendra Chahal said that it would be very hard for bowlers to stem the flow of runs: “It will be a completely different wicket at Indore. The ground is small. Their batsmen are in form and I think they have the best batting line-up. We’ll strategise according to the conditions.”
RCB’s bowling in the death overs has been very poor. Virat should not expect much from his bowlers, and instead take matters into his hands himself, by scoring as many runs as possible. Clearly, he cannot trust his bowling attack.
Prediction: This game is really between Rahul + Gayle vs. Virat + ABD. Anyone who wins this contest, wins the game.
Kings XI Punjab: 1 KL Rahul (wk), 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Karun Nair, 4 Mayank Agarwal/ Akshdeep Nath, 5 Manoj Tiwary, 6 Aaron Finch, 7 Axar Patel, 8 R Ashwin (capt), 9 Andrew Tye, 10 Mohit Sharma, 11 Mujeeb Ur Rahman
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Parthiv Patel (wk)/Manan Vohra, 2 Quinton de Kock, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 AB de Villiers, 5 Mandeep Singh, 6 Sarfaraz Khan, 7 Colin de Grandhomme/ Moeen Ali, 8 Tim Southee, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Mohammed Siraj
Watch Kings XI Punjab play Royal Challengers Bangalore tonight at 8 pm Live on Star Sports!