Match No 8 KXIP vs RCB Preview


For a city that has grown up on the stories of its glorious cricket history of 1940s and 1950s, the callings of Twenty20 were still relatively unknown for Indore. Hosting Kings XI Punjab for the first time, the locals had happily sworn their support to the opposition in the opening game, that had in its rank MS Dhoni. However, by the time the match ended, Glenn Maxwell happened the way the 'Big Show' loves to happen. It was a brief blitz, studded with four sixes, but enough to leave the feeling still lingering at the Holkar Stadium.

They are now set to host Royal Challengers Bangalore. On another day, Kings XI Punjab would have been left feeling like visitors again. However, without Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, Bangalore have lost a bit of sheen on their star power. Nonetheless, just like Kings XI Punjab, the visitors too will be coming into the match at the back of a well-fought win.

For the first time since the second season, Bangalore are relying heavily on their bowlers to pull them through. Tymal Mills has been exceptional with his pace variations, Yuzvendra Chahal has been tight and Shane Watson is being consistently inconsistent but on a good day, the stand-in skipper can be a match winner with the ball too. The fact that they managed to defend 157 at M Chinnaswamy stadium is a fine testimony of the skill and form of their bowling unit, especially coming at the back of a season where they were finding it difficult containing the opposition for less than 180.

Punjab, on the other hand, are expected to play an unchanged squad. The Indian bowling unit - Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma and T Natarajan bowled in good channels and made it difficult for the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Steve Smith and MS Dhoni to break free. With Bangalore boasting of a top order that likes to attack - Chris Gayle, Watson, Kedar Jadhav and Mandeep Singh, a few dot deliveries early on could add some pressure, with which they can look to dominate. Sandeep and Mohit will have to play a key role if the hosts have to register their second successive win.

There was a bit of confusion over how much grass covering and moisture should have been left on the wicket in the opening game with captain Glenn Maxwell and team director Virender Sehwag offering different instructions to the curator. What eventually opened up was a two-paced track to begin with, which flattened out in the second half. The directions, however, are much clearer for the encounter against Royal Challengers Bangalore. The hosts have played two high-scoring practice matches and they have asked for a similar pitch for the encounter against the Shane Watson-led side Bangalore. In the absence of de Villiers and Kohli, Maxwell and Co. are willing to take on a big-total challenge.

With only a day's gap between their two games, Royal Challengers Bangalore decided to skip the practice session on Sunday and opted to rest. So they are unlikely to be familiar with the conditions. A flat track and a tinge of grass is expected to be offered to the teams on the match day. There wouldn't be much turn, but that shouldn't be a matter of worry for the likes of Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, who bowl a flat trajectory. How well they adapt to these conditions, remains to be seen.

When: Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, April 10, 2017 - 20:00 IST

Where: Holkar Stadium, Indore

What to expect: Conditions would be much cooler on Monday. A flat track is expected to be offered with a tinge of grass. A run-fest is expected.

History: Kings XI Punjab have usually dominated the head to head battles against Royal Challengers Bangalore, winning 10 out of the 18 matches played between the two sides. However, in the last two years, Royal Challengers have managed to beat Kings XI thrice in four encounters.

Team News:

Kings XI Punjab: The hosts are expected to play an unchanged squad, with possibly Swapnil Singh making way for Gurkeerat Singh. Darren Sammy hasn't joined the team as yet. Details on his availability for the season is expected to come out shortly.

Likely XI: Hashim Amla, Manan Vohra, Wriddhiman Saha, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Swapnil Singh, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Shaarma, T Natarajan

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Given the conditions, Travis Head could be considered in place of Billy Stanlake, but otherwise it should be an unchanged squad unless AB de Villiers is fit to take part. The South Africa batsman has indicated that he is 'close to 100 percent fitness.' And his return, if it happens, will be a big boost for RCB although they will still be left with a combination conundrum.

Likely XI: Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Stuart Binny, Vishnu Vinod, Pawan Negi, Sreenath Aravind, Tymal Mills, Yuzvendra Chahal, Billy Stanlake

What they said:

"Both teams are coming after a win and the confidence level would be high. RCB have got a great T20 batsman in Chris Gayle. We have a game-plan ready for them. Hopefully, it'll work." - R Sridhar, Kings XI Punjab's fielding coach
Teams:
Royal Challengers Bangalore (From): Chris Gayle, Shane Watson(c), Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Stuart Binny, Vishnu Vinod(w), Pawan Negi, Iqbal Abdulla, Tymal Mills, Yuzvendra Chahal, Billy Stanlake, Samuel Badree, Sreenath Aravind, Harshal Patel, Adam Milne, Aniket Choudhary, Travis Head, Sarfaraz Khan, Sachin Baby, Avesh Khan, Tabraiz Shamsi, Praveen Dubey, AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli
Kings XI Punjab (From): Hashim Amla, Manan Vohra, Wriddhiman Saha(w), Axar Patel, Glenn Maxwell(c), David Miller, Marcus Stoinis, Swapnil Singh, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan, Darren Sammy, Shaun Marsh, Eoin Morgan, Ishant Sharma, Rinku Singh, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Anureet Singh, Nikhil Naik, KC Cariappa, Armaan Jaffer, Pardeep Sahu, Varun Aaron, Matt Henry, Rahul Tewatia