PBKS vs RCB IPL 2021 Preview: RCB try to consolidate stature as Punjab search for stability
Punjab Kings have failed to find consistency in the IPL till now.
Punjab wait for all cylinders to fire together
Sometimes, their batting clicks and the bowling fails while the arrangement is reversed in the next match. The Punjab batting failed to fire in their last encounter against Kolkata Knight Riders, managing just 123 runs from their 20 overs, that too courtesy of an 18-ball 30 from Chris Jordan.
Despite the likes of Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Moises Henriques and Shahrukh Khan in their middle order, the fact remains that if KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal do not get Punjab off to a good start, their probability of a batting collapse increases manifold.
While KL Rahul is their best batsman by some distance, Mayank Agarwal has also started to get back into form of late. Although the fluency is still missing, he is contributing on a more regular basis now.
Shami, Singh and Bishnoi - PBKS' main bowlers
In the bowling department, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh and Ravi Bishnoi are doing a fine job but it is their other bowlers who are a point of concern. Chris Jordan was given a game in the last match in place of Fabian Allen and it will be interesting to see whether Punjab persist with the England pacer or bring back the West Indian.
Moises Henriques and Deepak Hooda are their other bowling options.
Sams here to stay
In their last match, RCB brought in Daniel Sams, who has recovered from a bout of COVID-19 in place of Dan Christian. However, the all rounder did not get enough room to prove his credentials.
Sams was at the crease for just two deliveries and made three runs while conceding 15 runs from his 2 overs. RCB are expected to stick with him as he strengthens them in an all round manner.
RCB have little to worry about
Rajat Patidar looked solid in the middle order for RCB in their last match. It is seldom that both Virat Kohli and Devdutt Padikkal don't fire like it happened against DC, but more often than not, one opener goes big.
In the middle order, Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers continue to fire. Harshal Patel and Mohammed Siraj have been doing a fine job for the Virat Kohli-led side and the team does not have a lot of things to worry about.
Royal Challengers Bangalore look a lot stronger than Punjab Kings on paper. However, as was the case against Mumbai Indians, one cannot underestimate Punjab Kings. They definitely have the ingredients to dish out a brilliant performance, and if everything clicks for them, RCB can be in for a surprise.
Here are the predicted playing XIs:
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers (wk), Daniel Sams, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
Punjab Kings - KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Moises Henriques, Chris Jordan/Fabian Allen, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
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