PBKS vs RCB Preview: Punjab Kings Task Cut Out Royal Challengers Bangalore

The Punjab Kings will have to play from their skins to track back their stuttering campaign when they face High-Flying Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League in Ahmedabad on Friday.

From the five-wicket defeat at the hands of the Kolkata Knight Riders, it was not an easy task for the Punjab team to tackle the challenge posed by the RCB team firing on all cylinders.

After four defeats and two wins, Punjab are currently sixth in the league table with four points, while RCB are second with 10 points from five wins, trailing Chennai Super Kings in net run rate.

Apart from being the only loser against CSK, the RCB have emerged as strong contenders for their first IPL title, with their players impressive as the tournament progresses.

Punjab’s inconsistent batting has so far been disappointing. In their six games, the KL Rahul-led team has batted first with three low totals of -106, 120 and 123.

Rahul has so far scored 91, 5, 61, 4, 60 not out and 19 runs, their most successful batsman this season. He is expected to once again give his side a solid start with Willow.

While Mayank Agarwal was guilty of wasting his start except for one game, Chris Gayle scored just two good runs in six outs.

Dynamic Nicholas Pooran has had a painful season to say the least. West Indies scored just 28 runs in five innings, including three ducks. His highest against KKR is 19. The team could replace him with England’s David Malan, the best T20 batsman in the world.

With not enough runs on board against KKR, the Punjab bowlers could not make it big. But the bowling unit is not aggressive. Delhi were unable to defend 195 defense against the Capitals and almost handed over the game to the Rajasthan Royals with 221 defending, eventually winning by four runs.

On the other hand, the RCB boosts confidence after catching their nerves to flood the Delhi capitals with a run. Ab de Villiers delivered once again with the bat, and the bowlers worked collectively to give RCB their fifth win of the season.

RCB batting is heavily and relied upon the performances of Virat Kohli, Devdutt Padikkal, De Villiers and Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell. All four players excel, which is good for the team.

Rajat Patidar showed what he is capable of in the previous match, but Kyle Jamison also hurt some.

The RCB bowling department was impressed with the leadership of pacers Hershel Patel, Purple Cap Holder and Mohammad Siraj. The latter did well in defending 14 in the final over against DC, with the dangerous Rishabh Pant and Shimran Hetmire in the middle.

Teams (from):

Kings of Punjab: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Prabhasimran Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Murugan Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Harpreet Brar, Mohammad Shami, Arshadeep Singh, .

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (W), Devdat Padikkal, Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Pawan Deshpande, Shahbaz Ahmed, MS Washington Sunder, Yuzvendra Chahal, Daniel Sams, Herschelle Patel, Glenn Maxwell, Sachin Beard, Azharuddin, Kyle Jamison, Don Christian, Suyash Prabhudesai, KS Bharat, Finn Allen.

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