IPL 2020 Match 31 Preview: RCB vs KXIP - Can Gayle make instant impact against high-flying Bangalore
This is the best that Royal Challengers Bangalore have performed in the last few editions. With 10 points in the bag after seven matches, Virat Kohli's boys are among the best-performing teams in the tournament and would want to keep coming hard at the opposition.
Morris and de Villiers provide RCB great balance
As soon as AB de Villiers was ready to take on the responsibility of donning the wicket-keeping gloves, Royal Challengers Bangalore have gained a lot of balance. Chris Morris coming into the side in the last two games has also provided the side with a lot of stability as he plays two roles.
Morris has been miserly in both the matches that he has played with some fine bowling. What will impress Bangalore even more is that he has not even been required to bat.
In the last game as well, their top four did the job for them. Each of Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers contributed, with the openers adding 67 runs.
AB de Villiers then went to another level, smoking 73 runs off just 33 balls with 5 fours and 6 sixes at a strike rate of 220. Strangely, these runs came on a pitch which did not look very good and even Virat Kohli was struggling to get going.
These are brilliant signs for RCB. They still had the likes of Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris and Isuru Udana to bat which should put them in a good space.
RCB's bowling coming together
Due to the growing confidence in their batting order, Bangalore decided to bring in an extra pace bowler in Mohammed Siraj in place of Gurkeerat Singh Mann in the last match, who did a good job. Chris Morris and Navdeep Saini were brilliant, as were Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Isuru Udana.
KXIP falling apart
Repeated defeats are beginning to take a big toll on Kings XI Punjab, who don't seem to have answers for their problems. They would not be pleased to run into RCB at a time when the opposition is the most confident.
Another rough outing for Punjab
Punjab let another match slip away from their grasp in the last game against Kolkata Knight Riders. Chasing 165, they were looking well-placed to win with a 115-run partnership between openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.
However, Kolkata choked the brittle Punjab middle-order to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The good thing for Punjab though is that Rahul and Agarwal have been scoring consistently while Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh and Ravi Bishnoi are looking good with the ball. After recovering from a stomach bug, Chris Gayle is expected to make his IPL 2020 debut in this game.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP): Chris Gayle, KL Rahul(c), Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Simran Singh(wk), Ravi Bishnoi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Arshdeep Singh, Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell/Chris Jordan
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers(wk), Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
Match Analytics and Odds
The form of RCB would suggest your cricket betting on this match should be with RCB to win.
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