After a tough couple of games against Rajasthan Royals and Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI Punjab now prepare to play their fourth game at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore against Royal Challengers Bangalore. With the Playoffs drawing closer, the Kings will want to get some momentum going and seal their spot as soon as possible.
|Kings XI Punjab||Royal Challengers Bangalore|
Kings XI Punjab hold the upper hand in head-to-head battles but after their previous defeat and their recent run, they will be wary of the Royal Challengers this time around despite the home advantage.
Batting de Baadshah
|Lokesh Rahul for KXIP||Virat Kohli for RCB|
|537 runs||466 runs|
Lokesh Rahul’s run of form in the recent season has been phenomenal and he almost always ensures a good start for the Kings. His partnership with Chris Gayle at the top of the order will be crucial for KXIP and if the two get going, the two former RCB players could take the game out of Bangalore’s grasp very fast.
Virat Kolhi has been RCB’s most consistent scorer in the VIVO IPL and he continues that form this year. He was brilliant in the team’s win against Delhi Daredevils and with only pride to play for now, he might come out all guns blazing against KXIP.
Bowling de Kings
|Andrew Tye for KXIP||Umesh Yadav for RCB|
|20 wickets||14 wickets|
Andrew Tye has really found his footing as the business end of the league draws near which is excellent news for KXIP. The pacer picked up two consecutive 4-wicket hauls against RR and KKR, and varied his pace to good effect. He will be the key to stopping Kohli’s men from batting KXIP out of the match.
After an impressive opening to the current season, Umesh Yadav has been taken for a few runs in the recent games. However, he remains a consistent wicket taker and will be RCB’s best bet to make good use of the newer ball.
From the Lion’s mouth
"I would say we have got ourselves into an interesting situation. We still have enough games to try and get through to the play-offs." – Ravichandran Ashwin
Mudde ki baat
While numbers don’t count for much on the day of the game, KXIP’s superior track record against RCB might give them the edge in confidence when the two sides clash. However, RCB will know that the Kings haven’t had the best of times at Indore and might look to capitalise on that fact.
Captain Ravichandran Ashwin had already made it clear that the Kings will play an aggressive brand of cricket throughout the league and their two openers, Lokesh Rahul and Chris Gayle, will be key in this regard. If they get the team off to a flyer then the middle-order can take their time to settle down and play their strokes.
The Royal Challengers, though, are playing for pride and will want to finish their campaign on a high. With nothing to lose, they might become a dangerous proposition if they get their eye in and start hammering the bowlers like they did against Delhi. Restricting their two big names, Kohli and AB de Villiers, will be the biggest task given to Tye and company; a task easier said than done.
- Umesh Yadav finished with figures of 3/23 the last time these teams met.
- Both Lokesh Rahul and Virat Kohli average above 50 in the current season.
- Andrew Tye is the current Purple Cap holder in the league with 20 wickets
Who could play?
KL Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, Karun Nair, Yuvraj Singh, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Ankit Rajpoot.
The Holkar Cricket Stadium has seen a few high scores in the previous games which could prompt some changes in the KXIP camp. The fast and nippy Ankit Rajpoot might find his way back into the team at the cost of Barinder Sran. Marcus Stoinis has been in good touch but with the four overseas players firing, he will find it difficult to find a place in the current squad. The question of whether the team should use David Miller as a finisher may arise soon, which could make the competition for the four overseas slots very interesting.
NOTE: The aforementioned line-up is an educated guess at best, and the final decision rests with the captain and the team management depending on various external factors.