After a terrific run in the first half of the IPL, Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on Kings XI Punjab looking to start second half of the tournament with a win. While Virat Kohli coming back into form in a piece of welcome news for RCB, KL Rahul will have to do the bulk of scoring for KXIP.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - W W L W W
Finally, the Bangalore based team has been able to realize its full potential, winning 5 games out of 7 to slot themselves on the third spot on the points table with 10 points. They seem to have very little weakness and have covered all bases with their overseas players gelling quite well with the Indian players to produce good performances. In the last match against KKR, AB de Villiers pulled all the spotlight upon himself after scoring an amazing unbeaten 73 off 33 balls, which might be a danger sign for Punjab. Their bowlers have been efficient in performing their roles - particularly, Washington Sundar, who has given runs at less than 5. Hence, it will be a tough match for KXIP against a well-balanced RCB team.
Kings XI Punjab - L L L L L
When the form of the team looks like this, there are hardly any things that are working for them. In their last match against KKR, they lost the match after being in the commanding position for a good extend of the match due to poor captaincy decisions and executions. Their middle order has looked like a mango that can be squashed at any time, with Glenn Maxwell struggling to get into double digits. However, Chris Gayle is set to make his first appearance against RCB - the one batsman who can single-handedly bring back the campaign of KXIP in IPL 2020. On the bowling front, youngster Ravi Bishnoi has done well, along with Mohammad Shami, but barring them they have struggled to keep the run-tap closed. Hopefully, they can start the second half of the season with some positivity.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Virat Kohli
Quite an obvious choice with the skipper dusting off all the rustiness from the initial few matches by scoring a match-winning unbeaten 90 against CSK and then, followed it up with an unbeaten 33 against KKR. In the last five matches, the skipper has remained not out on 3 occasions, removing any doubt that was there regarding his form. Also, we know that Kohli has the tendency to rarely fail when he is in form. Hence, it is a no brainer to pick Kohli as the key batsman for RCB.
Kings XI Punjab - KL Rahul
Again an obvious choice, but there aren’t many options to choose from when it comes to Kings XI Punjab. Despite a sub-par performance from his side, the current Orange Cap holder Rahul has tried to lead the team from the front, scoring 387 runs in 7 matches so far, but has failed to get the support needed to push the team over the ropes. Mayank Agarwal is another option but, Rahul might open with Chris Gayle, demoting Mayank to the middle order and hence, get more time on the crease than his fellow Karnataka batsman.
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Yuzvendra Chahal
Taking 10 wickets in 7 matches, the leg-spinner has been one of the best bowlers in the entire IPL. He has mixed his pace really well, giving no room to the batsmen to hit him over the ropes and confusing them with his flight. Washington Sundar is another contender to be the key bowler, but since Chahal has been able to take more wickets than him, the leg-spinner is likely to come out as the best bowler for RCB.
Kings XI Punjab - Mohammad Shami
Having just completed his 50 wickets in IPL, Shami has been brilliant with the ball. Upfront, he has managed to deceive the batsmen with his swing and in the death overs, he has been able to mix his pace, not providing any momentum to batsmen to hit him. He has so far scalped 10 wickets from 7 games and has looked the best bowler of KXIP by quite a stretch. Although young Bishnoi has done well too, he is too inexperienced to expect consistent performances from him. Hence, Shami will likely be the best bowler for Punjab against RCB.
RCB: Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Isuru Udana, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
When to Watch: Oct 15, 7.30 PM IST
Where to Watch: Star Sports Network and Hotstar (in India)