It is all or nothing for Royal Challengers Bangalore as they gear up to square off against the Kings XI Punjab in the 28th match of the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The team led by Virat Kohli will be thinking of doing something unusual to turn the fortunes of his side or else it can be the end of the road for RCB in the tournament.
They are heading into this fixture with six back-to-back losses. With no points in their briefcase, the Bangalore franchise are suffering at the bottom of the points table. On the other hand, the franchise of Punjab is sitting comfortably at the fourth position in the table and will look to better their record with a scintillating win over the Kohli’s side.
If you believe that there is only one problem that is stopping the RCB side from getting a win, then you are wrong. RCB keeps on repeating the same mistakes in every game and ends being on the losing side. What do you expect when you have Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and even Shimron Hetmyer in your side? You expect a run feast.
But what they have managed to do is exactly the opposite.
Other than Kohli, no other batsmen have managed to show their true strength. Even Kohli, in the last game, played like he has lost all his fire-power. He got into a shell and was not going for the big shots. Meanwhile, De Villiers is not the player he once used to be. He takes time to score runs and is unable to show his true nature on the cricketing field.
If we talk about their bowling, everyone believed that Tim Southee’s inclusion will make their side ‘invincible’. But to their horror, the decision of including the New Zealand pacer has backfired pretty badly. He leaked runs in both the games that he has played till now and gave almost 60 runs in his 4 overs in the second match against Kolkata Knight Riders.
If RCB wants to be on the winning side, the whole team has to perform like a ‘gelled unit’ or else they will be succumbing to their seventh loss of the season.
On the other hand, Kings XI Punjab is coming to this match after a humiliating loss against the Mumbai Indians, all thanks to a breathtaking knock by Kieron Pollard at the Wankhede Stadium.
The side needs to forget what happened in the past and start preparing for the next battle. They have a good chance to take 2 points on Saturday as their opponents looks completely rattled with six losses on a trot.
It is yet to be known if Mayank Agarwal has been cleared to play tomorrow’s game. But if he is fit, then Karun Nair might have to sacrifice his place because Mayanka is in sublime form and has played some important knocks for his team.
The high-point for Punjab is that their opening pair, Chris Gayle and KL Rahul, are in great touch. Rahul scored an amazing century in the last game but sadly could not end up being on the winning side. Meanwhile, Gayle is doing what he does best – ‘striking the ball out of the park’.
The only problem they have is in their bowling attack because Ankit Rajpoot picked up a hand injury at the end of the game against Mumbai Indians. They can be tempted to try Moises Henriques in this game, but we would have to see which foreign player would have to lose his place.
It is hard to pick a clear favorite in this match, but if we talk about the journey of the teams in this season, then Kings XI Punjab clearly holds an edge over the Bangalore franchise.
HEAD TO HEAD
TOTAL MATCHES PLAYED – 22
KXIP WON – 12
RCB WON – 10
PROBABLE XI –
KXIP– Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal/Karun Nair, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Moises Henriques/Hardus Viljoen, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ankit Rajpoot, and Mohammed Shami
RCB – Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Akshdeep Nath, Pawan Negi, Tim Southee, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav/Mohammad Siraj.
About the Author
Sports Journalist by profession, a Cricket Fanatic by passion. Aayush Sharma has been following the game of cricket since childhood and considers Sachin Tendulkar as his idol. When in free time, he loves to read books or go out and play some gully cricket with friends. For him, Tennis ace Roger Federer and F1 Legend Michael Schumacher are the only sportspersons that reach the level of Tendulkar