IPL 2021, PBKS vs RCB: 3 player battles to watch out for

Virat Kohli will hope to get back to being the run machine he has been in the past.
Virat Kohli will hope to get back to being the run machine he has been in the past.
Aharon Abhishek

The Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) face the Punjab Kings (PBKS) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday (April 30), for the first time in IPL 2021.

In the last edition, KL Rahul and his men thumped RCB in both their encounters. However, they will be up against a formidable, in-title contention side this time around while Punjab has largely been inconsistent.

That said, both sides have quality players who can cause damage when they are in their element. Ahead of the match, let's take a look at the player battles that could make for an interesting watch.

1. RCB captain Virat Kohli vs Mohammad Shami

RCB skipper Virat Kohli is yet to make a mark this IPL. Barring that fifty against the Rajasthan Royals, Kohli has been struggling to convert his starts, and that will be weighing on the opener's mind.

He comes into this game with 163 runs from six games at an average of 32.60 and a strike rate of 126.35. He will be up against Mohammed Shami who seems to have now hit his straps as the season has progressed.

Shami has picked up seven wickets at an eco nomy of 7.68 so far this season. The seasoned pacer has also dismissed Kohli four times in the IPL. He will be looking to send the RCB captain back to the dugout early once again.

2. KL Rahul vs Mohammed Siraj

Rahul has been in good nick with the bat for Punjab, scoring 240 runs in six matches, at an average of 48 and a strike rate of 129.03.

The Karnataka batsman has led from the front, although the results haven't particularly been in their favour. Mohammed Siraj will want to get rid off KL Rahul at the earliest, given the damage the opener caused to the RCB bowling last season.

The Hyderabadi quick has spearheaded the RCB bowling attack impressively. He held his nerve to take the team home while defending 14 in the last over against Delhi earlier this week.

Siraj may only have six wickets to show for his efforts, but his tight lines and accurate lengths meant there was less room for batsmen to score quickly or crack boundaries at will. His economy rate of 7.26 also bodes well for the side.

3. Glenn Maxwell vs Arshdeep Singh

For Glenn Maxwell, playing against his old franchise will be a true test of character. He is RCB's leading run-scorer with 223 runs at an average of 44.60 and a strike rate of 145.75.

And while Maxwell had his problems while on the Punjab side's books last season, the Australian all-rounder has been in great form on national duty. His good run with the bat has continued since he linked up with RCB.

On the other hand, Arshdeep Singh has been a revelation for Punjab and his multiple variations have troubled batsmen throughout the season. He has six wickets so far this edition, and the Aussie's wicket could be the prized scalp for the Punjab Kings youngster.

Edited by Habil Ahmed Sherule
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