Chris Gayle is completely recovered from his illness and can his inclusion inspire KXIP and turn into winning ways? This is the big question and he is up against his former team where he reached the peak of his t20 career. Though he is completely recovered he is in match fit? You can get the answer today evening when KXIP announce his final playing XI. Both the teams kick-started their campaign in different style as KXIP went on to win the first two games whereas RCB started with the loss. Now RCB has identified their identical XI and they are almost settled unit now. Whereas KXIP is relying heavily on their top order and their bowling attack is one of the weakest links in the tournament. Gayle’s inclusion might split the opening duo Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul and KXIP captain are expected to come at No.3. It will provide much-needed stability to their middle order. If gayle can produce a magical Innings KXIP can be unstoppable but their major problem relies on lower middle order and bowling. Spinners Mujeeb and Ravi Bishnoi are doing their job but their inability to pick wickets in the middle orders is also a point of concern. At the same time pitches are getting slow and offering lots of resistance to their bowlers. So you can expect these two come good against RCB today. Arshdeep Singh has done a fabulous job in the limited opportunities he has got so far. So he is expected to retain his spot.
RCB on another hand is the more settled unit now and they are completely back to winning ways after suffering from debacles in the last two seasons. Kohli, Padikkal, Finch and de Villiers have contributed to their success and more importantly, they are playing as a unit. They are complementing each other and rose to the occasion when the team needs. Washington Sundar has been outstanding with the ball. He is not only containing runs bit also picking wickets at regular intervals. It prompts Kohli to utilise Chalal in middle overs and he has also responded well by taking wickets. Shivan Dube has done relatively well with the limited opportunities he has got with both bat and ball. Chris Morris and Isuru Udana are taking care of death bowling and Mohammed Siraj along with Navdeep Saini are doing excellently in middle overs. More importantly, RCB has managed to take wickets at regular intervals and their bowling unit is more versatile and can impose more threats in coming matches. Paddikal has got a string of low scores and it’s time for his start contributing. De Villiers red hot form will take the pitches and bowlers out of the equation. So if KXIP needs to win this game they need to get de Villiers wicket as early as possible.
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Players to watch out for:
1 Aaron Finch, 2. Devdutt Padikkal, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 AB de Villiers (wk), 5 Shivam Dube, 6 Washington Sundar, 7 Chris Morris, 8 Isuru Udana, 9 Mohammad Siraj, 10 Navdeep Saini, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
1 Mayank Agarwal, 2 Chris Gayle, 3 KL Rahul (capt), 4 Nicholas Pooran (wk), 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Mandeep Singh, 7 Chris Jordan, 8 M Ashwin, 9 Ravi Bishnoi, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Arshdeep Singh
What to expect:
Washington Sundar is in red hot form with the ball and he is done a commendable job with the ball in powerplays and RCB might expect him to bowl in middle overs which can hinter KXIP’s chances of forging partnerships.
Despite failures, Maxwell is expected to hold the place for today which might provide him yet another opportunity to come good.
Nicolas Pooran has been in red hot form with bat and is dominating any bowling attack for KXIP but he got out thrice for extreme pace so far. So Saini might want to exploit this weakness with his raw pace.
Both the teams are equally good at the paper but RCB is the more settled unit and they are expected to repeat the same against KXIP today.