IPL 2020 Match 6 Preview: KXIP vs RCB - Hurting Punjab look to expose RCB's papered over weaknesses
Royal Challengers Bangalore may have won their first match of IPL 2020 by 10 runs but that did not hide the deficiencies in their playing XI.
Padikkal and de Villiers explode
As expected, the team went in with the opening combination of Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch. While Finch could not get going as well as he would have liked to, youngster Devdutt continued his knack of scoring half-centuries on debut, as he has done in domestic cricket, and smoked 56 off 42 deliveries on a tricky surface at the Dubai international cricket stadium.
AB de Villiers fired for the side with a half-century played at a strike rate of 170. Yuzvendra Chahal and Navdeep Saini were on point with the ball for RCB, but the rest of their bowlers were not up to the mark.
Question mark over RCB's bowling
Dale Steyn conceded 23 runs from 3.4 overs while picking up one wicket but did not look at his best. Umesh Yadav had a terrible day and gave away 48 runs without picking up a wicket.
Shivam Dube's figures of 3-0-15-2 might look good, but it has more to do with the time at which he bowled, when the chips were down for the opponents.
The wicket-keeping debate
It was always expected that RCB would take away the gloves from Parthiv Patel to impart more balance to the side. Contrary to the expectations that 36-year-old AB de Villiers might take the wicket-keeping duties, RCB brought in young Aussie wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe to keep wickets.
To be frank, Philippe did not look at ease behind the wickets, especially against the top quality spin bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal. Playing Philippe also prevents RCB from bringing in Chris Morris, who gives tremendous balance to their side. RCB might just give the youngster one more game but it would be better for them if ABD keeps, so that they can play Morris as their fourth overseas player.
Punjab hurting after throwing away last match
RCB will face Kings XI Punjab in their 2nd match of the tournament. Punjab pulled back their last match from the dead and just when they were the closest to victory, needing just one run off three deliveries, they bothched it up and scored zero runs while losing two wickets off the last three deliveries, and finally lost the match in the super over.
Agarwal and Shami's form good sign for KXIP
However, with Lokesh Rahul and Mayank Agarwal opening the batting and Nicholas Pooran and Glenn Maxwell available in the middle order, Punjab have a solid batting line-up. It will be complemented by Sheldon Cottrell, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan and Ravi Bishnoi in the bowling line-up, which should make for a good contest.
Match Analytics and Odds
The form of RCB would suggest your cricket betting on this match should be with RCB to win.
Here's the probable playing XI of both teams:
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) - Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Josh Philippe (wk), Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav, Dale Steyn, Yuzvendra Chahal
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) - Lokesh Rahul(c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Glenn Maxwell, Nicholas Pooran, Krishnappa Gowtham, Chris Jordan, Sheldon Cottrell, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami
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