RCB start favourites against KXIP
Redemption on the cards as RCB face Kings XI Punjab at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday. Both teams are coming into this fixture with contrasting results in the previous match. RCB, who have thus far secured five victories, are third currently, while KXIP find themselves withering at the bottom of the table with a solitary win under their belt.
Skipper Virat Kohli was over the moon after an emphatic 82-run victory over Kolkata Knight Riders. He emphasised on how important it is to carry forward the momentum, particularly in a long tournament like the IPL.
"Three-week camp helped us. Have clarity of plans. Know exactly what we want to do on the field. All depends on the mindset. It's very positive. All about taking this momentum forward. Don't want to be complacent,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation.
On a sluggish wicket, AB de Villiers showcased his unparalleled abilities with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 73* off just 33 balls. The whirlwind knock had left the KKR dugout bewildered and searching for answers. KXIP bowlers will be vigilant of the threat posed by the famed RCB batting attack.
With the likes of Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Chris Morris, Isuru Udana and Navdeep Saini firing in unison, a tough test lies ahead for the KXIP batting line-up. The spin twins, Chahal and Washington have always tightened the noose around batsmen at various phases of the game, grabbing crucial breakthroughs. Protea all-rounder, Chris Morris has been commendable in the last two fixtures, scalping 5 wickets and operating with an economy rate of 4.50. His inclusion has further strengthened the team.
Punjab's novice middle-order has been highlighted as its biggest weakness this season. Barring Nicholas Pooran, no other batsmen have shown signs of promise. The opening duo of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal have shepherded the team, scoring the bulk of the runs. The return of Chris Gayle will certainly give the batting attack a much-needed boost.
Over the last few days, the surface at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium has considerably slowed down in the second innings. It's a no brainer that both the captains will want to bat first in a bid to maximize their chances of pocketing two valuable points.
Date: Thursday, 15th October
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Time: 7:30 PM (IST)
Royal Challengers Bangalore: WLWWLWW
Kings XI Punjab: LWLLLLL
Head to Head
RCB: Virat Kohli, Parthiv Patel, AB de Villiers, Chris Morris, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shivam Dube, Aaron Finch, Umesh Yadav, Adam Zampa, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Dale Steyn, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Isuru Udana, Devdutt Padikkal, Shahbaz Ahmed, Joshua Philippe, Pavan Deshpande.
KXIP: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Chris Jordan, Deepak Hooda, Glenn Maxwell, Krishnappa Gowtham, James Neesham, Karun Nair, Mandeep Singh, Mayank Agarwal, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Hardus Viljoen, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel, Jagadeesha Suchith, Nicholas Pooran, Prabhsimran Singh, Ravi Bishnoi, Sarfaraz Khan, Sheldon Cottrell, Tajinder Dhillon.