Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will be seen locking horns for the second time in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) for match no 42 on April 24. The motivated RCB will be the host to team Punjab as the match will be held in M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.
Ranked bottom at the points table, RCB registered two back-to-back wins with the latest being against the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) last Sunday. Now, the team will aim for a hat-trick of wins in the tournament.
Bangalore would be desperate to keep up the momentum as this win can bring them at par with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) with eight points. Whereas, a loss can throw them out of the playoffs.
Even after Punjab's fantastic start to the tournament, the team is currently placed fifth on the IPL league table. Three losses from five games have left KXIP in a spot, but, they would hope to get back into the winning streak against RCB.
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
Kohli-led team definitely has a very strong top-order but is lacking batting depth.
Although, Kohli (387) and AB de Villiers (332) did not impress much with their bat but will still be considered as main threat for KXIP at the Chinnaswamy. The duo is the leading in the score department and is capable enough to put up a big total for RCB.
Apart from these two, wicketkeeper-batsman Parthiv Patel has shown grit and character saving the day for RCB by running out Shardul Thakur in the last match. Englishman Moeen Ali has also contributed with the bat in recent fixtures. Ali scored 66 runs from 28 balls in his last match and his match-winning abilities could be a valuable factor. Though, this will be Moeen's final match for the season as the cricketer will leave on April 26 to start his World Cup preparation.
Inclusion of Dale Steyn in the team has strengthened Bangalore's bowling attack. Steyn definitely could be the X-factor in the upcoming matches.
Bangalore’s bowling remained a major struggle throughout the season. Fast bowler Umesh Yadav was unimpressive in the last match against Chennai as MS Dhoni almost pulled off 24 in the last over bowled by Yadav.
Other bowlers, like, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Pawan Negi and Marcus Stoinis can also play important roles in the match against Punjab. Kohli’s other seamer Tim Southee and Mohammed Siraj too have been disappointing throughout the season.
Kings XI Punjab:
Kings XI Punjab too has a strong top-order, but, has been guilty of a faulty middle-order. Ashwin-led team seems to be too dependent on their opening batsmen KL Rahul and Chris Gayle.
Fortunately, Bangalore’s ground has been good for big-hitters in most matches and that is exactly what Punjab has in their side. Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, David Miller, and even Sam Curran are some of the players that can lead their team to a win. Also, in their last encounter Jamaican batsman, Gayle made an unbeaten 99 (64b), and RCB won quite comfortably in the end.
On the other hand, Mayank Agarwal has been highly inconsistent at number three. He will need to regain his form in order to beat RCB.
A worrying sign for the Punjab franchise have also been with bowlers leaking runs and not picking up wickets at crucial junctures of the game. Spinner duo of Mohammed Shami and Ashwin has been KXIP's best bowlers and the team would expect them to come up with another good show against RCB.
Head To Head: 23
RCB: 11 KXIP: 12
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Parthiv Patel, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Akshdeep Nath, Pawan Negi, Dale Steyn, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj.
Kings XI Punjab: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Sam Curran / Nicholas Pooran, Harpreet Brar, Hardus Viljoen, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami
(Featured Image: FB/Royal Challengers Bangalore)
About the Author
I am a passionate 20-year-old cricket fan who aspires to be a sports anchor. Like to Invest some free time in painting, reading and writing. I am staunch a believer in hard work. I am currently learning the art to play with words.