Right in time, the Royal Challengers Bangalore (BLR) team will look to reach the playoffs in the IPL by registering a win over the so far fluctuating Punjab Kings PBKS today. On the other hand, in the event of a defeat, Punjabs journey to the playoffs will be extremely difficult. Not only this, if the Bangalore team wins then the equation will change drastically and things will not be easy for not only Punjab but also Rajasthan, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. However, after the way BLR has performed in the last two matches, the match for Punjab does not seem to be easy.
If we look at Bangalores last two matches, it seems that they have found their proper combination. Except Virat Kohli, all the batsmen of BLR are in excellent form. Rajat Patidar and Mahipal Lomror are also doing well in the form of captain Faf du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik. RCBs bowlers have also been consistently performing well, including the in-form Josh Hazlewood and Harshal Patel. Mohammad Siraj is not in the best of form but the team can expect him to do well at crucial times. Maxwell has proved useful with his off-spin in the powerplays and the middle overs while Wanindu Hasaranga has so far taken 21 wickets, including five in a match.
There is a lack of consistency in the PBKS team and that is the reason why they have not been able to win two matches in a row. Shikhar Dhawan and Bhanuka Rajapakse are contributing well in the top order while Liam Livingstone and Jitesh Sharma are finishing the innings well. Jonny Bairstows return to form is good news for Punjab. Captain Mayank Agarwal has decided to enter the middle order but he needs to lead from the front. In the bowling, Kagiso Rabada has taken 18 wickets so far but he has proved to be expensive. Sandeep Sharma has the ability to take wickets in the powerplay. Arshdeep Singh has bowled impressively, especially in the death overs where he troubled the batsmen with his precise yorkers. Despite having good players in the team, Punjab team falls apart at crucial times in which it has to improve as soon as possible.
Both the teams (BLR vs PBKS) started this season with a mutual clash. There was a lot of runs in that match where the bet was in the hands of Punjab. BLR posted a mammoth score of 205 for two with captain Faf du Plessis 88 and Virat Kohlis unbeaten 41. However, Punjab PBKS won the batsmen-dominated match an over before with Shikhar Dhawan and Bhanuka Rajapaksas 43-run chase. Odeon Smith finally hit 25 not out in eight balls.
Royal Challengers Bangalore BLR now not only has to avenge that loss to Punjab Kings PBKS but also get that victory, which will almost- almost confirm the ticket to the play-off. On the other hand, if Punjab PBKS wins again, then Bangalores trouble will increase. The loss in this match will be no less than a big setback for BLR.
The pitch at Brabourne Stadium looks to be a neutral one. Both the batters and the bowlers have to be at their best on this wicket. As the game progresses, it is expected to become slower and start assisting the spinners as well. Both the captains will look to bowl first after winning the toss.
|1||Gujrat Titans - Q||14||10||4||0||0.316||20|
|2||Rajasthan Royals - Q||14||9||5||0||0.298||18|
|3||Lucknow Super Giants - Q||14||9||5||0||0.251||18|
|4||Royal Challengers Bangalore - Q||14||8||6||0||-0.253||16|
|5||Delhi Capitals - E||14||8||6||0||0.204||14|
|6||Punjab Kings - E||14||7||7||0||0.126||14|
|7||Kolkata Knight Riders - E||14||6||8||0||0.146||12|
|8||Sunrisers Hyderabad - E||14||6||8||0||-0.379||12|
|9||Chennai Super Kings - E||14||4||10||0||-0.203||8|
|10||Mumbai Indians - E||14||4||10||0||-0.506||8|
|Recent Forms: W = Won, L = Lost, T = Tie, D = Draw, NR = No Result|