Punjab Kings will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 26th match of the 2021 edition of the IPL. It will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on the 30th of April, 2021. The match will commence at 7:30 PM IST and it will be telecasted on the Stars Sports. Hotstar will be streaming the game live as well.
Last season, Punjab Kings (PBKS) suffered six losses in their first seven games and it was the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) that turned things around for them. They picked up pace and were in contention for a spot in the top four till the very end.
Once again, KL Rahul and co face RCB in a mid-season clash and a crucial one. Punjab have lost four out of their six games so far and languishing in the bottom half of the points table. And again, the batting has been heavily reliant on the top three.
If KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal or Chris Gayle don’t fire, that’s the end of Punjab’s batting. It has happened three times already this season and PBKS have ended up with sub-125 totals batting first. In fact, the top three have failed in two out of the last three games and the bowling ends up with nothing on the board to defend. Thus, the PBKS batting needs to stand up and deliver.
Meanwhile, RCB aren’t the same from last year or any of the yesteryears. The Virat Kohli-led side have won five out of their six games so far and are placed second on the points table. Most things seem to be working for RCB.
The batting looks solid and the top five have contributed pretty well. AB de Villiers is continuing his magical form while Glenn Maxwell’s addition at No. 4 has added some teeth to the middle-order and middle overs batting. The bowlers have stepped up really well and the execution at the death, in particular, has been splendid. There have been times when they have leaked a few runs but on the whole, it’s been much better this year and they have been highly impressive.
Punjab beat RCB in both the encounters last season and RCB will be looking to pull it back this year. The overall head to head record is in favour of Punjab who have 14 wins compared to 12 for RCB.
Probable Playing XIs
Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Moises Henriques, Shahrukh Khan, Chris Jordan, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers (wk), Washington Sundar, Daniel Sams, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj
KL Rahul: KL Rahul is going to be one of the big picks as fantasy IPL captain. The PBKS skipper has been in good form and has already recorded three half-centuries in six games in this 2021 season of the IPL. He has amassed 240 runs at an average of 48.00. Moreover, Rahul’s form has played a massive part in Punjab’s ability to get substantial scores (batting first or chasing). In addition to that, Rahul has aggregated 321 runs in six innings (averaging 80.25) against RCB while playing for Punjab.
AB de Villiers: AB de Villiers is once again batting like a dream and for the umpteenth time, he has continued to bail RCB out of trouble. He didn’t play any competitive cricket since the end of the 2020 season of the IPL and yet, de Villiers has looked in sublime touch and he winning games for RCB almost single-handedly. The South African superstar has three knocks of note and in all three, he helped RCB win the game. Overall, he has smashed 204 runs in five innings and is striking at 174.35. Also, his recorded against Punjab is excellent – 710 runs at an average of 47.33 and a strike-rate of 159.19. Thus, de Villiers will be a top captaincy choice.
Fan2Play Fantasy Cricket Tips
KL Rahul, AB de Villiers
KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell
KL Rahul, Deepak Hooda, AB de Villiers, Harshal Patel
KL Rahul, AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli, Devdutt Padikkal, Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, Deepak Hooda, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Ravi Bishnoi.
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