We witnessed contrasting fortunes in the opening games for Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore, which is why KXIP vs RCB can prove to be riveting one. Punjab were unlucky to lose against the Delhi Capitals in the super over whereas Bangalore pulled a monkey off their bag to come back and win in the game against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
KXIP vs RCB in a sense can also be seen as Karnataka vs Karnataka. KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, K Gowtham and J Suchith all play for Karnataka and for Kings XI Punjab, while coach Anil Kumble is arguably Karnataka’s greatest-ever cricketer. Whereas RCB has only two players hailing from their home state of Karnataka.
When it comes to the head-to-head record in KXIP vs RCB, it couldn’t be any tighter. Out of the 24 matches played in this fixture, both teams have won the equal number of games; 12 and will be looking to get the edge over the opponent in this particular game. If we were to talk about the results in the last five KXIP vs RCB games, then Bangalore have had the wood over the Kings, winning four out of the five previous encounters.
Glenn Maxwell vs Yuzvendra Chahal
This is a matchup which everyone will be looking at closely. If either of the two players gets the better of the other one then the result could tilt in their team’s favour. Virat Kohli will use Yuzvendra Chahal against Glenn Maxwell early in his innings to make sure that the Australian doesn’t get off to a flier. Chahal has dismissed Maxwell five times in eight innings while conceding 80 runs off 52 balls. Both of them have been relatively successful against one another and this match could be the showdown between the two.
Chahal was exceptional in RCB’s first match against SRH and he’s the one who got them back in that game. In the first two matches at Dubai, even though the pitch suited swing bowlers, quality spinners were able to inflict major damage to the opposing team.
Glenn Maxwell missed out in KXIP’s first match against the Delhi Capitals. He loves playing in the UAE and has played well in the recently concluded series versus England.
PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT FOR
We didn’t see the usual Aaron Finch in the opening match for RCB. He played a supporting role to Devdutt Paddikal but you can’t keep someone of Finch’s quality down for a long time. Expect him to go all guns blazing against the Punjab bowling line-up. He was also involved in the highest partnership at this venue back in 2014 so he likes playing in Dubai.
India’s number one Test opener, Mayank Agarwal will be gutted that he wasn’t able to take his team home in their first match against Delhi Capitals. Nevertheless, Mayank played a sublime knock of 89 and that is the highest individual total on this ground in the IPL. He is a quick learner and will not make the same mistake twice.
The new ball moved a fair bit in the first match at the Dubai International Stadium. If the conditions are the same then the opening batsmen can have a tough time against someone like Sheldon Cottrell because of the way he bowls. If the new ball swings upfront, we expect Sheldon Cottrell to pick up more than two wickets.
KXIP: KL Rahul (WK) (C), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Glenn Maxwell, Nicholas Pooran, Sarfaraz Khan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Chris Jordan, Sheldon Cottrell, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami
RCB: Devdutt Paddikal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers, Josh Phillipe (WK), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Dale Steyn, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
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