The tournament is slowly picking up pace. Teams are in the quest to find the right combination and momentum to surge ahead. The tournament has now moved to Ahmedabad and Delhi leg.
Punjab Kings: Name changed but their fortunes haven’t yet changed
Punjab Kings had played their first 3 games at the Wankhede in Mumbai. They registered a thrilling win over Rajasthan Royals in the opening encounter. PK posted a mammoth total (221) and scraped home by 4 runs in that game. But since then the Punjab franchise have flattered to deceive. They were completely outplayed by CSK in their second game. While they went on to lose against DC even though they were in a dominant position. PK’s problems have been confounded with their captain KL Rahul’s conservative approach.
The Chennai pitch tested PK team even more. PK could score a paltry 120 batting first against SRH. They went on to lose by 9 wickets. PK came roaring back and defeated defending champions Mumbai Indians by 9 wickets. They were strangely subdued in their batting when they faced KKR. Their lack of intent cost them the game. PK have just 2 wins to show from 6 games now. They will be desperate tp fetch 2 points against a rampant RCB.
RCB: The makings of something special
Royal Challengers Bangalore started the tournament in the best possible way. They were the only team who their first 4 games this season. RCB posted thrilling wins over MI and SRH in their first two games. They comfortably defeated KKR in their third game. RCB found new heroes in every game. Harshal Patel led the charge in the first game while Glenn Maxwell’s innings proved to be the difference in the 2nd game.
RCB found new heroes in both their wins. Shahbaz Ahmed’s game-changing over against SRH was another highlight. Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers powered RCB to a fantastic total in the third game. Mohammad Siraj then bowled an excellent penultimate over to shut the game. RCB annihilated RR at Mumbai. But it all came unstuck against CSK. Ravindra Jadeja’s all-round brilliance toppled RCB. RCB put on a stellar show and notched a thrilling win over DC to reclaim the number 1 spot (now currently with CSK). They will be keen to build on this momentum.
PK vs RCB: Favourites?
Punjab Kings are fighting to find not just the right combination but even the right game. They are yet to fire in unison and this is a worrying factor. They are up against one of the form teams of the tournament. RCB unlike PK have a settled core and players are freely expressing themselves. This promises to be an intriguing battle.
Which players will be match-winners in this game?
KL Rahul averages highest against RCB (74.2) and strikes the best against them (155.23). He will be PK’s main man.
Glenn Maxwell will fancy his chances against his former team, Punjab Kings going into this game.
Mayank Agarwal’s opening blitz is crucial for PK. His partnership with Rahul may well define the outcome of the match.
Devdutt Padikkal has had a quite couple of games following his century against RR. He will be keen to get back amongst the runs.
Probable Playing XI:
Punjab Kings predicted XI:
KL Rahul (WK), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran, Shahrukh Khan, Chris Jordan, Moises Henriques, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammad ShaKKR, Arshdeep Singh
Royal Challengers Bangalore predicted XI:
Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Mohammad Siraj, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal
What do stats say about PK vs RCB?
PK and RCB have played 26 IPL games against each other.
PK has won 14 matches. RCB has won 12 games.
PK’s highest score against RCB is 232. RCB’s highest score against PK is 226.
PK’s lowest score against RCB is 88. RCB’s lowest score against PK is 84.
The Ahmedabad pitch aids quality fast bowling. Bowlers who tend to hit the pitch hard might find assistance from the surface. The black and red soil pitch also has a say in the outcome of the contest. Black soil offers variable bounce and it might prove counterproductive to stroke-making.
A high of 43 degrees and a low of 27 degrees is expected. There are no chances of rain. Dew might play a big factor and teams will prefer to chase under such weather conditions.
170 is the average score at this venue.
It is a battle between PK’s resolve and RCB’s red hot form. We believe RCB has an edge in this game.