The Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on the Kings XI Punjab in the 31st match of IPL 2020 on Thursday, 15th October, at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. Both these sides have had starkly contrasting campaigns so far. RCB have done exceptionally well and have five wins from seven games.
They come into this match at the back of a convincing win over KKR. Punjab, meanwhile, have managed to record just one win from seven games and lost their previous game to KKR from a winning position.
RCB seem to have figured out the right team combination and have fielded a very balanced team so far. The performances of Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal have been brilliant, as the spin duo has choked oppositions and made them commit a lot of mistakes.
New signing Chris Morris has hit the ground running as well. Despite missing five games through injury, Morris has already made a huge impact by picking up five wickets in two games.
Devdutt Padikkal's consistent showings have lessened the pressure on Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, who are playing with a lot more freedom. De Villiers was the match-winner for RCB against KKR and played an astounding knock of 73* off just 33 balls on a very sluggish Sharjah wicket.
Kings XI Punjab would certainly consider themselves unlucky after their loss to KKR. They bowled pretty well, and for once, seemed to have gotten their team combination right. They also paced their chase well but lost the match from a position where they needed just 29 runs in four overs with nine wickets in hand.
Their chances of making it to the playoffs are very slim, but they will certainly look to make a comeback in this game. KL Rahul should take confidence from the fact that his team dominated most of the game against KKR. They will, however, need to be at their best if they want to stand any chance of beating this RCB juggernaut.
Incidentally, KXIP's only win of the season came against RCB, so can they do it again?
IPL 2020, RCB vs KXIP Match Details
Date: 15th October 2020 (Thursday)
Time: 7:30 PM IST.
Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah.
There are no chances of rain during the match. The temperature will be on the higher side, with an average of 33 to 34 degrees celsius.
The pitch at Sharjah has slowed down considerably, and teams batting first have won despite posting scores that have been lesser than 200. The spinners will be crucial in this game, and the batsmen need to have a set plan as to how they're going to play them. However, they can score a lot of runs if they bat smartly. Any score above 200 will be above-par.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
After beating KKR by 82 runs at the same venue, RCB will be brimming with confidence heading into this fixture. All their players delivered for them last time around, and they should field the same playing XI for this fixture too.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (WK), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Isuru Udana, Chris Morris, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, and Yuzvendra Chahal.
Kings XI Punjab
Since they have made the most changes to their playing XI this season, one can expect KXIP to make some changes ahead of this fixture too. Simran Singh hasn't used his opportunities well, and Deepak Hooda or Sarfaraz Khan could replace him.
Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul (C and WK), Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Glenn Maxwell, Sarfaraz Khan, Chris Jordan Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, and Arshdeep Singh.
RCB vs KXIP match prediction
RCB seem to be the favourites to win this game based on how well they've played recently. Both their batting and bowling has clicked, and they seem on course to get their third consecutive win. However, Punjab did play well in their last encounter, and they will certainly look to make a comeback. Kohli will be wary of his opponents, but his team is likely to walk away with the points.
RCB vs KXIP TV and live streaming details
TV: Star Sports Network.
Live Streaming: Disney+ Hotstar VIPPublished 14 Oct 2020, 23:00 IST