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Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore have been two strong yet severely underperforming teams in the IPL. Both the teams have very good players but their performances collectively haven’t been really convincing. Both the teams have already played a game in the tournament and have been on opposite sides of results.

Kings XI Punjab lost a game that should have undoubtedly gone their way but some costly errors in the final over followed by a poor super over display helped the struggling Delhi Capitals to grab the points. On the contrary, RCB commenced their IPL with a very good performance but Kohli and Co. did look to be struggling at times.

As far as IPL 2020 is concerned, almost every game has gone down to the wire and that is the bright side of it even though the tournament is contested in a different place and at a different time of the year. 

Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore is going to be played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai on the 24th of September.

Head to Head: Matches- 24, KXIP- 12, RCB- 12, N/R-0

Team News

There has been enough banter on social media and on TV about how a run cost Kings XI the match. Not to forget how the umpire committed a mistake at a very wrong time but the majority will agree that it cannot be used as an excuse when you had to score just a run with three balls to spare.

It will be difficult for Punjab to leave the universal boss Chris Gayle out again while Mujeeb ur Rehman could take place replacing either Chris Jordan or Sheldon Cottrell. The batting talent is immense in the team but there is no assurance if the KXIP batsman could put it all together.

As far as the bowling department is concerned, Mohammad Shami was exquisite. His accuracy, pace, line and length were spot on. Youngster Ravi Bishnoi was impressive too. Both are expected to keep their places in the starting XI.

For RCB, they emerged with a triumph but it is clear that they were not at their best. The bowling department is more of a concern and the big question is which bowler could be replaced to rope in Chris Morris, a more than decent pacer but brilliant striking abilities. Umesh Yadav was one weak link in the squad though one game does not decide your fate in the tournament, it seems quite evident that Yadav will be replaced by probably Washington Sundar.

Shivam Dube may also be a question as his bowling looks very risky at times and that is something that can topple RCB’s batting displays as it has done on several occasions.

Pitch and Conditions

 The game will be rain-free. However, the pitch is more of a question. The groundsmen usually leave ample grass on the pitch but the actual behavior of the pitch cannot be kept away for long. Deliveries were keeping low and it made the spinners as twice as effective they were in the game.

The dew will be a major factor and the decision of batting second after winning the toss will be unquestionable. A score around 170-180 will be good enough to defend.

Probable Playing XI

KXIP: KL Rahul (C and WK), Chris Gayle, Glenn Maxwell, Krishnappa Gowtham, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Mohammad Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Sarfaraz Khan, Chris Jordan.

RCB: Virat Kohli (C), Aaron Finch, AB de Villiers, Devdutt Padikkal, Parthiv Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini, Chris Morris, Dale Steyn, Shivam Dube, Umesh Yadav.

Key Battles:

KL Rahul (KXIP) vs Dale Steyn (RCB)

KL Rahul (KXIP) vs Dale Steyn (RCB)

Rahul did not have a welcoming start to the IPL, neither as a captain nor as a batsman. However, he has ample time to get back in both departments as he clearly has the potential. He will be against Dale Steyn who may not have the same pace as he once had but his experience is something that a lot of bowlers lack.

Dale Steyn has a lot to prove too as being the best in his department for the majority of his career has raised his standards to a level where the expectations are too high and the mistakes stick more often. KL Rahul has been the victim of the same although he has a lot to prove yet in both, the IPL and for his country.

Both the players have an astonishing mindset and both are expected to be ready to counter each other especially in the first six overs of the game.

Mohammad Shami (KXIP) vs Virat Kohli (RCB)

Mohammad Shami (KXIP) vs Virat Kohli (RCB)

The story here is very different. Mohammad Shami had a very promising opening and was really accurate with his lengths. However, Kohli was not happy with himself and the reasons are clear. For a batsman hailed as the best batsman in the world has to do more and Kohli is aware of it. The interesting part here is that Kohli doesn’t need to isolate himself and think of his mistakes. 

He knew it the moment he was dismissed in his previous game and his mentality can only make him more dangerous for the upcoming game. In a lot of the previous editions of IPL, Virat Kohli seemed to be one of the very players in his team who consistently produced numbers. This time he has a good squad depth in both the departments and his team hit the ground running from the first game itself.

With all this, Kohli will be more focused on his individual game and that will certainly be a huge challenge for Shami.

Prediction

The two sides are yet to showcase their full potential. Both the franchises have enough match-winners but the teams have clear weaknesses too. Punjab tends to be shaky in both departments while RCB with a much dominant batting order tend to lose the majority of their games due to their bowling.

Both the teams have played one game each so neither will start with an advantage. The toss will play a crucial role. Both the teams will be hugely dependent on their skippers.

Cricwizz predicts RCB to win the match.