Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has picked the contest between Nicholas Pooran and Yuzvendra Chahal as the player battle to look forward to in the match between the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) tonight.
He made this observation while previewing the IPL 2020 clash between the two teams in a video shared on his YouTube channel.
While talking about the probable team changes, Aakash Chopra pointed out that RCB do not need to fiddle with their playing XI as they already have the perfect combination.
"There is no scope of any changes in RCB as they are doing very well. They have improved their bowling and their batting is going strong. They should let things continue the way they are and not change anything."
The renowned commentator observed that things are going in favour of RCB, and lauded Virat Kohli's captaincy as well as the excellent spells delivered by Washington Sundar.
"Kohli's captaincy has been very good and Washington Sundar has been outstanding with the ball. There is everything right with that team at this point in time."
Aakash Chopra recalled that KXIP's solitary win so far in IPL 2020 came against the Virat Kohli-led team.
"Kings XI Punjab's win against RCB has been the only match they won and that is their saving grace as well. They have also lost matches they should have won."
The former KKR player observed that KXIP are likely to bring in Chris Gayle at the expense of Glenn Maxwell, but said that the move could disturb their successful opening combination of KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal.
"Chris Gayle is going to come in the KXIP team and Maxwell is going to go out. But once Gayle comes in, the question will be if Mayank Agarwal opens or if they open with Gayle and send Mayank down the order."
He added that Hardus Viljoen coming in for either Mujeeb Ur Rahman or Chris Jordan could be the only other change that KXIP might consider making.
"Besides that, I do not see a lot of changes. They may opt to play Hardus Viljoen instead of Mujeeb here because they have not given a chance to Viljoen till now. He could also come for Chris Jordan because you will not want to play Sheldon Cottrell on this ground."
Aakash Chopra on the player battle to watch out for in the KXIP-RCB encounter
While picking the contest between Nicholas Pooran and Yuzvendra Chahal as one to watch out for in the KXIP vs RCB encounter, Aakash Chopra pointed out that the small Sharjah ground might favour the big-hitting Trinidadian.
"The battle is very interesting because it is a small ground. The last time I saw Nicholas Pooran play, he was hitting huge sixes. And that was in the big ground in Dubai and this is a small ground."
The 43-year-old reasoned that the KXIP left-hander possesses shots all round the ground to counter the variety the leg-spinner has at his disposal.
"Chahal's leg-spin will come into him and googly will go away but Pooran hits it on both sides. So, it will be a very interesting battle to watch."
Aakash Chopra signed off by picking RCB as the likely winners in their clash against KXIP tonight.
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"I am going with Bangalore although it is better for the tournament if Punjab wins. But I am going with the stronger side."
A win for the Royal Challengers Bangalore will help them join the Delhi Capitals at the top of the IPL 2020 points table, with 12 points to their name. A positive result for the Kings XI Punjab, on the other hand, would keep alive their slender hopes of making it through to the playoffs although they would continue to be the last-placed team in the table.
Published 15 Oct 2020, 12:51 IST