Kings XI Punjab would look to shrug of the recent losses to win a crucial game against RCB at Indore in IPL 2018 on Monday. KXIP have 12 points from 11 games and face competition from other teams – MI, RR and KKR – for a race for play-offs. A loss would not see them exit from the race for playoffs, but would make them depend on other teams to qualify.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have kept themselves alive in the tournament by posting a convincing win over Delhi. They must win their remaining three games to stay in hunt for play-offs.
Cricwizz takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams, prediction of KXIP vs RCB clash on Monday.
Great opening pair
KL Rahul and Chris Gayle form an explosive opening pair, the best in IPL 2018. The two have helped KXIP post brilliant opening stands. Rarely the two have failed together as a pair. Rahul has been in brilliant form so far, cracking three consecutive fifties, but two in losing causes. However, he and Gayle still hold the key for Punjab as the tournament nears the business end.
KXIP has a problem of inconsistent middle-order. They have chopped and changed the middle-order, but they have been unsuccessful in finding the right combination. Mayank Agarwal, Aaron Finch, Karun Nair and Axar Patel have not been able to support the explosive opening pair of Gayle-Rahul. The other foreign players such as Marcus Stoinis, David Miller have not been able to deliver the goods, putting pressure on other overseas cricketers.
Despite an inconsistent batting line-up, RCB boast of two of greatest limited-overs batsmen in AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli. The two hold the key for RCB to put up a good score or chase down any totals. They have other reliable batsmen in Mandeep Singh, Parthiv Patel to help the dynamic duo of Kohli-ABD. The batting revolves around the two. Other batsmen too need to chip in with the willow.
RCB bowling lacks discipline to put continuous pressure on a batting line-up. They have let off opposition of the hook many a times. Their death-overs bowling is under question as well although they have done well couple of times, but lacks consistency. RCB need to work on their bowling to give a tough fight to KXIP.
Key battles to watch out for in KXIP vs RCB clash
AB de Villiers vs Mujeeb ur Rahman
In the previous home clash against KXIP, AB de Villiers had spoiled Mujeeb ur Rahman’s bowling figures, slamming him for two sixes in an over to steer RCB to win. ABD is back into form in the last clash against DD and would look to target Mujeeb again. Mujeeb is a much improved bowler since. He would eye revenge when he bowls to ABD. Who will win this battle?
RCB have done well to beat DD in the last clash. ABD is back to form, cracking a brilliant fifty to steer RCB to win. KXIP are struggling with their batting and bowling combination at the moment. Our vote goes to RCB who have earlier beaten KXIP at home before.
Play cricket quizzes and win Wizz Coins
Possible winner: RCB