Royal Challengers Bangalore will face Kings XI Punjab in game six of IPL 2020 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai. The match will be the second encounter for both the teams in this year’s edition of the tournament.
The two sides will go into the contest with contrasting fortunes. Royal Challengers Bangalore defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad in a notable effort while Kings XI Punjab kicked themselves in the foot by failing to beat Delhi Capitals despite only needing one from three balls.
Despite the win, RCB still have some loopholes to cover. However, they will be pleased just to start on a winning note, considering their poor record in the past. KXIP, on the other hand, will be keen to put the disappointment of the previous game behind them and start on a fresh note.
As RCB and KXIP get ready to go into battle mode, we take a closer look at three player battles to watch out for.
IPL 2020: 3 key player battles in KXIP vs RCB
#1. Devdutt Padikkal vs Mohammad Shami
Young RCB batsman Devdutt Padikkal made an impressive IPL debut against Sunrisers Hyderabad. He looked at complete ease right from the start, hitting the ball over the top and finding the boundaries constantly.
Padikkal made a brisk 56 from 42 with eight boundaries before he was cleaned up by Vijay Shankar against the run of play. With his knock against SRH, Padikkal proved that he belongs in the IPL stage.
While Padikkal undoubtedly has the talent, he will face a stiffer challenge when he comes across the seasoned Mohammed Shami.
The veteran KXIP pacer was the team’s best bowler with excellent figures of 3 for 15. He used all his variations and maintained control over proceedings even as the other bowlers began to suffer against Marcus Stoinis.
The Padikkal vs Shami battle will be one of youth vs experience, and it will be interesting to see who comes out on top.
#2. Mayank Agarwal vs Navdeep Saini
KXIP opener Mayank Agarwal played a splendid knock against Delhi albeit in a losing cause.
Agarwal demonstrated that he has a wide array of strokes during his wonderful batting exhibition against Delhi. He also has the talent to make up for a slow start once he gets his eye in.
For the last year or so, Navdeep Saini has been slowly growing in stature as a fast bowler with extreme pace and brains. His performance against SRH in RCB’s tournament opener has done his reputation no harm.
Saini combined pace and accuracy to send back Rashid Khan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, playing a key role in RCB’s fightback. Saini’s quick deliveries have troubled some very good batsmen in his short international stint. The fast bowler will be up against in-form Punjab opener Agarwal on Thursday, in what should be an evenly-matched contest.
#3. Glenn Maxwell vs Yuzvendra Chahal
On paper, this seems like the most enticing individual battle of all. Punjab big-hitter Glenn Maxwell loves taking on the slow bowlers while RCB’s experienced leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is always ready for a battle.
Maxwell may have failed in the tournament opener against Delhi but he comes into the IPL high on form and confidence, having played a stellar role in Australia’s ODI series triumph over England. Maxwell was at the top of his game in England, taking on both the pacers and spinners with ease.
While the Big Show can whack spinners out of the attack, his task will be tougher against the wily Chahal. With his variations, and ability to read the batsman’s mind, Chahal can be very dangerous.
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This was evident against SRH as Chahal’s excellent spell destroyed their chase which seemed to be in cruise-control mode. Even well-set batsmen like Manish Pandey and Jonny Bairstow came second after taking him on. Maxwell will undoubtedly go after him. How effective he will be, though, is the big question.Published 24 Sep 2020, 16:08 IST