IPL 2018, RCB vs KXIP: 5 players to watch out for
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), under a new captain Ravichandran Ashwin, looked fresh and energetic as they convincingly defeated Delhi Daredevils in their opening game. It was more or less a team effort with everyone chipping in to ensure they got off to a winning start.
On the other hand, hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) stumbled and failed to get off to a winning start against KKR at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. It was a familiar foe which let RCB down- lack of firepower in their middle order and ineffective bowling.
The Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru has been traditionally a batsman’s dream, as the pitch offered nothing to bowlers and with a small ground, it made things easier for the bat to dominate the ball.
But in the VIVO IPL 2017, there was a drastic change in the pitch. The ball started to move around a lot, it stopped on the batsman and the spinners came into their own. The home team were found wanting as they weren’t able to adapt to the changed pitch conditions, one of the reasons why the franchise finished bottom of the league.
The question on everybody’s minds would be, what kind of pitch would be on offer this season? The flat belters we got to witness in the first nine seasons of the IPL or the one where the bowlers dominated proceedings? We will have to wait and watch.
On paper, both franchises seem to have a balanced look to their squad, with RCB going for a lot of bowling options at the auction to bolster their squad. Even KXIP have got a good mix of attacking batsmen and quality bowlers.
Looking ahead to what’s going to be a fabulous Friday, here are 5 players to watch out for in the RCB vs KXIP clash:
A prolific off-spinner who was sidelined in the past few years in the IPL when he played for the Rising Pune Supergiants franchise, Ravichandran Ashwin has got his due finally.
KXIP recognized that they wanted to build a fresh team and for that they were looking at roping someone who is experienced and has proven ability. They opted to make Ravichandran Ashwin the captain of the franchise.
His experience, skill as a bowler in the T20 format makes him a fantastic choice as a captain. He will provide a fresh perspective while captaining the side. And he is aided rather well by Axar Patel, Mujib Ur Rahman and Andrew Tye.
It would be definitely interesting to see how Ashwin goes about his business as a captain and a spinner in Bengaluru where the atmosphere can at times unnerve the visiting teams. But he has shown signs of being a level-headed leader in what little we have seen of him as a captain and that will hold him in good stead heading into this crucial game against RCB.