IPL 2018, KXIP vs RCB Match Prediction: Who will win today's match between Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore
Who will come out on top as Ravichandran Ashwin takes on Virat Kohli?
The equation is simple. Both teams need a win as they are both in with a shot at making the IPL 2018 playoffs.
Although Kings XI Punjab is in third place, they are level on points with two other teams. After a great start, Kings XI are slowly slipping down the table. Although they still have their destiny in their own hands, they need to start winning soon.
Royal Challengers Bangalore started slowly but they seem to have slowly emerged out of the chaos. Their stars are starting to click with the bat and the bowlers are executing their plans as well.
With both teams looking for a win that could shape the rest of their season, how they approach the game will be something to keep an eye out for. Here is a look at what might happen in the crucial encounter at Indore:
Date: 14th May 2018
Venue: Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore
Time: 8.00 PM IST
If Kings XI Punjab bat first
Predicted Score - 200+
It has been the KL Rahul show so far this season for Kings XI Punjab. While Andrew Tye and Mujeeb have been sensational with the ball and Chris Gayle got off to a great start, the only constant has been KL Rahul.
The 26-year-old from Karnataka has been consistency personified in this year's IPL and that is one of the reasons why he is in third place in terms of most runs this season and in second place in terms of the fifties, behind Kane Williamson. Although he has got them home, Kings XI Punjab knows that they need more than just Rahul firing on all cylinders.
Chris Gayle will be keen to make a statement against RCB, the side that let him go after plenty of success with the franchise in the seven years he spent there. Karun Nair will want to show that he can be a consistent performer and not just someone who scores a pretty cameo once in a while.
The middle-order has been an issue all season but that is not because they haven't tried many things. Against an RCB bowling line-up that has been far from consistent at the death, Kings XI need to get off to a good start, if they want to put on a total in excess of 200 on a good batting surface.
If Royal Challengers Bangalore bat first
Predicted Score - 200+
Royal Challengers Bangalore are still in the hunt for a playoff spot thanks to their win over Delhi Daredevils. While it won't be easy, they can keep their momentum alive by beating Kings XI Punjab at Indore on Monday.
It is almost unbelievable how Virat Kohli has managed to fly under the radar in this IPL. Not only is he RCB's leading run-getter but is also one of only seven players to have over 450 runs in this year's edition. That means that although RCB has had a stop-start season, Kohli is still in the running for the Orange Cap.
AB de Villiers, who averages over 50 this season, much like Virat Kohli has been another important cog in the RCB batting line-up. But the problem for the side has been the fact that Kohli and AB haven't got going together very often. And when they do, like against DD, RCB end up on the winning side more often than not.
There have been plenty of changes in the batting line-up but they finally seem to have settled on one with Moeen Ali and Parthiv Patel opening the innings. If they get a solid platform, the likes of Kohli and AB have enough firepower to make KXIP chase the leather.
Considering that the pitch is batting friendly and RCB have Colin de Grandhomme, who can clear the boundary at will towards the end, they will consider it a disappointment if they don't set up a total in excess of 200.
Both teams need a win to inch closer to their dreams of making it through to the playoffs. On a pitch that will be conducive to big hitting, RCB has an upper hand irrespective of the outcome of the toss. If they bat first, they will have one of the fiercest batsmen in the world, AB de Villiers to make a mockery of the size of the ground and the bowling line-up. If they bat second, they have Virat Kohli to help with the chase.
The biggest bellwether for this game is the performance of KXIP's openers. If they get going, there is no stopping them. But RCB's bowling attack has been sensational at the start that they will fancy their chances of dismissing if not both then at least one of them. That might well be the key for RCB, who will go in as favorites courtesy of their team composition and the momentum they finally seem to have.
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