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HomeCricketIPL 8th Match Preview: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kings XI Punjab

IPL 8th Match Preview: Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kings XI Punjab

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Last Updated on 6 years by Charbel Coorey

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It is time for Royal Challengers Bangalore to start transferring talent into results. It is time for RCB to field a better balanced side, and get a win on the board to deliver belief that they can have a good season. Can Kings XI Punjab crash the party at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, building more pressure on an RCB continuing to underachieve? Coming off a solid win against Delhi Daredevils, KXIP can surely believe they can put a another dagger into the confidence and belief of their opponents.

For Royal Challengers Bangalore, it was so disappointing to see them get the balance of their side wrong yet again. This begs the question – have they learnt from mistakes in previous seasons? It was a surprise to see both Quinton de Kock and Brendon McCullum play in Kolkata, which resulted in a top order heavy line up, which left them short on middle order and bowling options. Brendon McCullum, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers have 22,374 T20 runs between them, so it’s time for RCB to properly consider an extra bowler in their side so they can actually defend the runs scored. RCB were horrendous at home last season, winning just one match, so making the M Chinnaswamy Stadium a fortress should be priority.

For Kings XI Punjab, they are up against a vulnerable bowling line up, and are boosted by the return of Aaron Finch after getting married. He and KL Rahul are likely to open, and present a big danger to RCB, whose bowling continues to underwhelm. However, can KXIP score well even if KL Rahul and Aaron Finch don’t? With the scratchy form of Yuvraj Singh and a still untested middle order thanks to KL Rahul’s blistering fifty, a lot will be expected of the top two, as well as their bowlers in keeping

the talented RCB side quiet.

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Key to a Royal Challengers Bangalore win

Can RCB find some penetration with the ball?
Their score of 176/7 against Kolkata would be enough to win you a lot of T20 games if you 
have the bowlers to deliver results. Unfortunately, after the Narine assault, where they bowled spin to him and got punished, RCB didn’t look like defending the total. If they have dreams and aspirations to lift their first IPL Title, it’s time they get the balance of the side right.
The concern though is coach Daniel Vettori coming out and saying the bowlers didn’t do too badly, and that he is not too keen to change the team’s game plan. This is rubbish. Every person and his dog knows that RCB need better balance, and even though a player like Tim Southee isn’t one of the best T20 bowlers going around, he’ll offer something with the ball, as well as lower order hitting if required. A bowling line up of Washington Sundar, Chris Woakes, Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal actually doesn’t look too bad at all.
It’s time for their bowling to complement their batting, not marginalize it.

Key to a Kings XI Punjab win

On the small M Chinnaswamy Stadium boundaries, KXIP will be keen to tuck into an RCB team that doesn’t seem to place too much emphasis on bowling. As mentioned, KL Rahul and Aaron Finch present a danger, but more will be expected from the likes of Yuvraj Singh, who battled for 22 balls to score 12 against Delhi. In a game where KL Rahul got them off to a flyer, KXIP should have won the game a lot earlier than they did – can they middle order step up if properly required?
Also, KXIP will be very encouraged by the performance of Afghani debutant Mujeeb Ur Rahman, taking two wickets against DD for 28 runs (and forcing a direct hit run out), supported pretty well by R Ashwin and Mohit Sharma. More will be expected from Axar Patel and Andrew Tye against a dangerous RCB batting line up, after expensive outings against DD. 
The equation is pretty simple for KXIP – if you stifle RCB’s batting, you’re already a long way towards winning the game.

Predicted teams:

I’ll emphasis on balance again for RCB. Quinton de Kock should sit this one out in my opinion, considering his tough times against spin and Tim Southee should be brought in as the replacement overseas player. Yuzvendra Chahal, a star for India recently, needs to bowl out his four overs, as he can be a vital weapon for RCB. I believe the following team will give them the best chance of getting their first win of IPL 2018.
Royal Challengers Bangalore XI: 1. Brendon McCullum, 2. Parthiv Patel (wk), 3. Virat Kohli (c), 4. AB de Villiers, 5. Mandeep Singh, 6. Sarfraz Khan, 7. Washington Sundar, 8. Chris Woakes, 9. Tim Southee, 10. Umesh Yadav, 11. Yuzvendra Chahal
For KXIP, expect Aaron Finch to slot into the opening position, partnering the dynamic KL Rahul, who is coming off the fastest half century in IPL history on Sunday. Mayank Agarwal will probably miss out, and don’t think there will be room for Chris Gayle, who returns to his former home ground.
Kings XI Punjab XI: 1. KL Rahul (wk), 2. Aaron Finch, 3. Karun Nair, 4. Yuvraj Singh, 5. Manoj Tiwary, 6. Marcus Stoinis, 7. Axar Patel, 8. Ravichandran Ashwin (c), 9. Andrew Tye, 10. Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 11. Mohit Sharma

Stats and Facts:

  • Head-to-Head: Matches: 20, RCB: 8, KXIP: 12
  • In the corresponding game last season, KXIP managed just 138/7, but dismissed RCB for 119. Sandeep Sharma removed Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in that game.
  • Last season, the run rate at the Chinnaswamy was a low 7.41, correlating with RCB’s dismal last placed finish, where they only won one match at home. In the three seasons before that, the run rates were 9.52 (2016), 9.45 (2015) and 9.01 (2014).
  • RCB may use spin to target Yuvraj Singh, who has scored 222 runs off 219 balls against spinners since IPL 2015. 50% of these deliveries are dots. However, RCB need to find a way to get KL Rahul and Aaron Finch cheaply to get into the KXIP middle order without too much damage.
  • RCB have lost 11 straight IPL matches when AB de Villiers is in their team.

Prediction:

It is widely regarded RCB will finish in the top four, and with the talent they have in their side, they should be making a better account for themselves. With a chance to put things right in front of their home fans, I see RCB’s chances depending on what type of team they go for. If they select a better balanced side, they have what it takes to get the win against a KXIP side that will certainly present a challenge. RCB to get their first win of IPL 2018.
Charbel Coorey
Charbel Cooreyhttps://cricblog.net
Charbel is the owner & founder of cricblog.net, based in Sydney, Australia. He started the website to fulfill his love for the game of cricket. Charbel has been featured on other publications including OP India, Times of India, and The Roar, among others. He is also a keen fantasy sports player. Charbel has also had the privilege of interviewing cricketers on the CricBlog TV YouTube channel, including James Neesham, Rassie van der Dussen, Andrew Tye, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat and Saurabh Netravalkar: https://www.youtube.com/@cricblogtv For any story tips or questions, you can contact Charbel at charbelcoorey@cricblog.net.

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