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IPL 2018: RCB vs KXIP - Preview, time, predicted lineups

RCB will play their second game of IPL 2018 at home.

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Top 5 / Top 10 13 Apr 2018, 14:21 IST
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Kohli will be leading from the front to hand RCB their first victory
Kohli will be leading from the front to hand RCB their first victory

Date: April 13, 2018

Time: 8 pm

Venue: M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

The second game of Royal Challengers Bangalore will see them against Kings XI Punjab, in front of their home crowd, for the first time in this season’s IPL.

The two teams have faced each other 20 times in the IPL and KXIP have ended on the winning side on 12 of those occasions, while RCB managed to win 8 out of those 20 encounters.

Come Friday, RCB will look to better their record against Punjab in front of the Bold Army.

The Pitch

The 2017 IPL saw a drastic change in the nature of Chinnaswamy’s pitch. The pitch which used to be a batting paradise, was now a slow and sluggish wicket where batsmen struggled to score quick runs.

After the heavy criticism, the pitch is likely to be made more batting friendly, which means we’ll get to witness a flurry of boundaries and towering sixes just like the old days. Shorter boundaries and high altitude of the ground will help the batsmen in Bangalore.

Bowlers generally take a toll in the evening game with the dew factor coming in. The Chinnaswamy has always been a chasing ground so it will be no surprise that the team winning the toss will bowl first.

From KXIP’s dugout

Punjab haven’t had the best of outings in the 10 seasons of IPL so far. They have made it in the top 4 only twice, and their best performance was in the 7th edition of the tournament where they ended up as the runners-up after losing a thrilling final to KKR.

However this time around, KXIP will be looking to turn the tables with a revamped side. The new side looks strong on paper and can pin any side down on their day.

The very canny Ashwin has been entrusted with the captaincy duty and it’ll be interesting to see how he manages his troop under the mentorship of Virender Sehwag.

Punjab bid fiercely for KL Rahul and got him at a whopping price of Rs. 11 crore. They had already retained their consistent performer Axar Patel, and grabbed Stoinis and Miller in the auctions. The veteran Yuvraj Singh will be seen roaring for the first time in the side after the 3rd edition of IPL.

The batting looks solid with the likes of Mayank Aggarwal, who had a record-breaking domestic season and Finch who is in red-hot form. They also have Gayle, Nair and Tiwary who’ll be raring to have a crack at the ball.

The bowling department led by Ashwin has some specialist T20 Bowlers in the form of Andrew Tye, Axar Patel and Mohit Sharma who have proved their worth in the previous editions. Ankit Rajpoot and Barinder Sran can be equally lethal on their day.

Probable XI: M. Aggarwal, KL Rahul, Karun Nair, Finch/Miller, Yuvraj, Stoinis, Patel, Ashwin, Tye, M.Sharma, Mujeeb Zadran

Players to watch out for: Mayank Aggarwal and Ravi Ashwin

From RCB’s dugout

RCB’s major concern over the years has been their bowling. However, last year, the batting let the team down on most occasions as Kohli, de Villiers and Gayle struggled to find form.

This year, RCB played it very smart at the auction and made some very good buys. They strengthened their bowling by investing in some good Indian fast bowlers and struck gold by purchasing Washington Sundar. They also got Quinton de Kock, Brendon Mccullum and Colin de Grandhomme to provide more stability in the batting unit.

Kohli will most likely be back at his favorite No. 3 spot, where he bats for India, and we will get to see a new opening pair for RCB this season. The opening slot is going to be an interesting pick as there are a number of options open.

They can go with McCullum and Parthiv Patel or de Kock and Vohra or even McCullum and de Kock. However, the third option seems unlikely as they’ll want to accommodate Grandhomme to bring balance to the side.

The onus of keeping the screws tight in the bowling department will be on Woakes, Umesh, Chahal, and Sundar. They have a few options in Aniket Choudhary, Siraj, Saini and Khejroliya, all of whom have impressed in the domestic circuit. They can think of getting Pawan Negi in as and when the situation demands.

Probable XI: Mccullum, de Kock, Kohli, de Villiers, Negi, Mandeep, Woakes, Sundar, Umesh, Chahal, Aniket/Siraj

Players to watch out for: Virat Kohli and Yuzvendra Chahal

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