The Royal Challengers Bangalore will once again lock horns with the Kings Xl Punjab at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah. The encounter will mark the 31st match of the Indian Premier League. Both the teams are in hunt for their maiden IPL title. Though, the things look much better for Virat and Co. who stand in 3rd in the points table. While, the Punjab team who have managed to win just one game in the seven matches played are now the bottom dwellers.
Though this time the Punjab team will be facing the team which is the only team that they tasted success against- Royal Challengers Bangalore. Said that, RCB has evolved well after that whopping loss of 97 runs which still stands as the largest defeat in terms of runs this season.
The previous encounter saw RCB win the toss and elected to bowl first. The master class of KL Rahul, who scored a brilliant 132 of 69 balls which is currently the record for the highest score by a batsman this year and also became the highest individual score by an Indian in the IPL. The century of Rahul propelled KXIP to a score of 206. With the RCB batsmen struggling in the start of the tournament meant that they were dismissed for 109 runs.
Things have taken a turn after that for the Punjab team and now in a do or die situation. While the Bangalore team will be looking to cement their position by winning this encounter.
Match Toss Time: 17:30 Local (19:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 18:00 Local (19:30 IST)
Match Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
The conditions are ideal for cricket once again as clear skies are expected throughout the day. In what will be a huge relief for the players, the temperatures and humidity are expected to drop in the coming weeks. The temperature during this encounter is likely to be hovering in the 29-30 degree range with humidity around the 39-40 % range.
The pitch in Sharjah has been a belter for the batsman. But the match between RCB and KKR saw the pitch being a bit on the slower side especially during the second innings. This may be the indication for the pitch slowing down and if that's the case we can definitely expect the spinners to have a say. Contrary to the initial 200 plus score, a score of 180-190 seems a winning one on this pitch now.
RCB have not reported any injuries and will be happy with the way the team has been progressing. The management is likely to feature the same Xl that handed them a comfortable victory over the KKR.
KXIP on the other side have tried out various combinations but nothing has been working in their favor. Lot has been on the shoulders of the openers and the occasional cameos by the West Indian Nicholas Pooran has been the only silver lining of the team.
With the latest reports suggesting Chris Gayle is fully fit now could mean the West Indian Legend could play his first match this season and with that in the cards the KXIP will fancy their chances to bounce back in the tournament.
Probable Playing Xl
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers (wk), Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
Kings Xl Punjab (KXIP): KL Rahul (c), Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh/Karun Nair, Nicholas Pooran, Simran Singh (wk), Glenn Maxwell/Chris Gayle, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Sheldon Cottrell, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
RCB vs KXIP Fantasy Team
AB de Villiers (wk), KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Mayank Agarwal, Devdutt Padikkal, Washington Sundar, Isuru Udana, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Siraj, Arshdeep Singh, Ravi Bishnoi
Captain Picks: AB de Villiers (RCB), Mayank Agarwal (KXIP)
Vice-Captain Picks: KL Rahul (KXIP), Virat Kohli (RCB)
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