Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kings XI Punjab: Match Preview
Over the past few seasons, the Bangalore crowd had become used to the Gayle storm. While he might not be there anymore, one can expect no less from Brendon McCullum and Quinton de Kock. However, it will be the form of one of their former players, KL Rahul which poses a threat for them as they take on the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP).
A loss in their opening fixture is never an ideal way to start the tournament and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) would blame it down to poor planning. Their spinners were taken to the cleaners by Sunil Narine in the powerplay and they missed a trick by not bowling their pacers against him.
They will have to be smarter with their strategies given the tremendous form shown by the KXIP duo of Rahul and Karun Nair, both of whom will be playing on their home territory. A 22 ball 12 from Yuvraj Singh will no doubt have his fans worried and one will eagerly look forward to watching Virat Kohli’s use of Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal against the left hander.
The biggest positive for the RCB bowling attack from their last game would be the form of Umesh Yadav. Not only was he hostile, but also accurate. RCB’s chances of ending their trophy drought will depend on their bowlers defending totals at home more than anything else.
KXIP, who are themselves looking for a breakthrough campaign, could not have hoped for a better start to the tournament. Ravichandran Ashwin was impressive on captaincy debut and was not shy of accepting the fact that he had nerves before the start of the game. He rotated his bowlers well and himself bowled a miserly spell, going for less than six an over.
It will be interesting to watch how Mujeeb ur Rahman operates against the likes of McCullum, Kohli and AB de Villiers. Both he and Ashwin might have to resort to bowling leg breaks, given the abundance of right hand batsmen in the RCB line up.
RCB was at the losing end of this encounter on both occasions, last season, and will have their task cut out as they look to give their fans something to cheer about. The beautiful batting surface at the Chinnaswamy did show signs of slowing down in the last year and it remains to be seen if the bowlers are in for a tough night once again!
Expect both teams to go in with unchanged line ups even though KXIP have Aaron Finch, who missed the last game due to his wedding, available to them.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock (wk), Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Sarfraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kulwant Khejroliya.
Kings XI Punjab – KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Yuvraj Singh, Karun Nair, David Miller, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, AJ Tye, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb ur Rahman
- During his 16-ball knock of 51, KL Rahul became the first batsman to reach his fifty within the first three overs of the innings in T20s.
- KXIP have chased down three totals of more than 200 in the IPL, the most by any team.
April 13, 2018
20:00 hours IST
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
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