Riding on momentum, both Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore would look to outclass each other and put their frailing campaign back on track when the two bottom-placed teams clash in a crucial encounter of the ninth edition of the Indian Premier League at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali today.
Both Royal Challengers and Kings XI have had similar journeys thus far in the competition a lonely win here or there to punctuate a string of weak performances. Languishing at the bottom end, both teams are riding in the same boat. Both teams are coming off wins and know that another victory will be crucial in their bid to stay alive in the tournament. The game will also be an interesting contest between Challengers’ batting might and Kings XI’s bowling.
Hashim Amla had a horrid IPL debut against the Daredevils, featuring in three close run-out chances – the last of which claimed his wicket. However, his addition to the squad has added much-needed depth to the side’s batting. A forgetful debut shouldn’t hamper his chances of getting another game, though not in the opener’s role after Stoinis’s heroics. In fact, if Kings XI choose to retain their winning XI, David Miller too could retain his spot for another game even as time is running out for the former skipper.
Chris Gayle hasn’t been a regular feature in their line-up and yet the team has consistently posted totals in vicinity of 200. However, given the track at the PCA Stadium, Kohli might just be tempted to draft him and beef up their mighty batting line-up. The other option that visitors have could be to retain Chris Jordan instead and strengthen their fragile bowling.
Kings XI Punjab (From): Murali Vijay(c), Marcus Stoinis, Hashim Amla, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Axar Patel, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, KC Cariappa, Swapnil Singh, Rishi Dhawan, Kyle Abbott, Pardeep Sahu, Anureet Singh, Farhaan Behardien, Shardul Thakur, Manan Vohra, Nikhil Naik, Mitchell Johnson, Armaan Jaffer
Royal Challengers Bangalore (From): Virat Kohli(c), Lokesh Rahul(w), AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, Travis Head, Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Parvez Rasool, Chris Jordan, Varun Aaron, Yuzvendra Chahal, David Wiese, Vikramjeet Malik, Abu Nechim, Kane Richardson, Iqbal Abdulla, Sreenath Aravind, Kedar Jadhav, Harshal Patel, Mandeep Singh, Vikas Tokas, Chris Gayle, Akshay Karnewar, Sarfaraz Khan, Praveen Dubey, Tabraiz Shamsi