Royal Challengers Bangalore takes on Kings XI Punjab for the second time in this season and looking at how KXIP have played this season, this could also be their last meeting. KXIP had thrashed RCB by 97 runs in their first meeting and going by the form these two teams are in, a payback would definitely be there in the eyes of Kohli & co. The head to head records don’t give too much into the contest and we are not going to focus on that either. Although they still favor KXIP 13-12 in 25 contests but here we are going to look at some personal battles.
KL Rahul vs Washington Sundar
Lokesh Rahul is the orange cap holder at this point of the tournament. He has been in outstanding form and has 387 runs in this season so far. He had scored 132 runs when these two teams played the last time in Dubai so RCB will definitely be wary of him. For RCB, Wahington Sundar has bowled really beautifully in the powerplay. His strength used to be bowling to left hander batsmen with the new ball but in this season, he has also bowled well to right handers and that makes it an exciting contest. The presence of Gayle along with Rahul will definitely mean Kohli will bowl Sundar in the powerplay and it would be interesting to see how he goes against Rahul. Previous records say he has dismissed Rahul once in 10 balls giving away 11 runs.
Chris Gayle vs Chris Morris
KXIP will be delighted with the return of the dangerous Chris Gayle. It will add pace to their batting in the top order and while KXIP will be happy, RCB would be alert of the damage Gayle can cause to them in the real quick time. Washington Sundar would obviously be one option to bowl to him but if he doesn’t get him out, Chris Morris too can be used as another option. Morris bowls with pace and can bowl good yorkers and bouncers. He has previously got Gayle three times in 46 balls. Gayle has only managed to get 47 runs off his bowling as the southpaw has played 30 out of those 46 balls as dots. Again, how RCB plans about bowling to KXIP top order will be an interesting thing to watch.
AB de Villiers vs Chris Jordan
Along with the plans of RCB against KXIP top order, how KXIP plans against RCB at death will also be an interesting discussion. The fact that AB de Villiers batted like a gun in the last match on a slow pitch needs no reckoning but how will KXIP tackle his threat needs some discussion. Chris Jordan is their specialist death over bowler and in most likelihood he could be used against AB in death. AB hasn’t faced him yet in IPL but the international T20 records show he has been hitting Jordan at a strike rate near 200. Jordan has bowled 27 balls to him in which he has conceded 53 runs while he has dismissed AB once.