Royal Challengers Bangalore on guard against Kings XI Punjab
Mohali, May 12 (IANS) When Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) face Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) in an Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium here on Wednesday they will know well that they cannot let their guard down.
Kings XI have taken a real hammering in the tournament winning just two of their 12 matches, while RCB are on the brink of making it to the play-offs with six wins from 11 games. But the visitors will know an upset can make their campaign go haywire and create panic within the outfit.
Therefore the Virat Kohli-led outfit will look to dominate Kings XI from the word go and would try and make sure they have things under control.
However, to spoil the RCB party, the hosts have power-hitters which include the likes of South African left-hander David Miller who almost got them home in their last encounter against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Monday. Miller smashed an unbeaten 89 from 44 balls, but KXIP fell five runs short of Sunrisers' 185/5.
To match Miller's power, RCB have in their ranks his South Africa skipper AB de Villiers, who clobbered his way to 133 off 59 balls on Sunday against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede stadium. Mumbai tried valiantly but failed to chase down the mammoth target of 236 runs.
But going by IPL history, the RCB powerhouse has choked more often than not against the Kings with only six wins from 15 games. But the form the Challengers are in, they are likely to have fortune smiling on them this time around.
The trio of Kohli, Chris Gayle and de Villiers are a threat to any opposition and with the medium pace bowling line-up of Kings XI one can expect a run-feast, especially with Mitchell Johnson missing from the action.
The RCB bowling too is in able hands with pacer Mitchell Starc leading the attack and Harshal Patel and spinner Yuzvendra Chahal supporting him throughout. But they will face a tough test bowling against the likes of George Bailey and Miller.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Mitchell Starc, Nic Maddinson, Varun Aaron, Ashok Dinda, Harshal Patel, Vijay Zol, Abu Nechim, Sandeep Warrier, Yogesh Takawale, Yuzvendra Chahal, Rilee Rossouw, Iqbal Abdulla, Manvinder Bisla, Mandeep Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Subramaniam Badrinath, Darren Sammy, Sean Abbott, Sreenath Aravind, David Wiese, Sarfaraz Khan, Jalaj Saxena, Shishir Bhavane.
Kings XI Punjab: George Bailey (captain), Murali Vijay, Manan Vohra, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Axar Patel, Anureet Singh, Karanveer Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Virender Sehwag, Beuran Hendricks, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Parvinder Awana, Rishi Dhawan, Shardul Thakur, Shivam Sharma, Thisara Perera, Nikhil Naik, Yogesh Golwalkar.