April 23, 2019
| On 3 months ago

RCB vs KXIP IPL 2019 preview: A confident RCB a threat to Punjab

By Chaitanya Laxman

From outside it is the number five team taking on the number eighth team in the Indian Premier League 2019. So, it should be advantage Kings XI Punjab. But the reality is far away from this.

The way RCB has played in the last couple of matches, especially their batting unit, it is clear that Punjab cannot take them lightly and with the race for the play-offs becoming stiffer, Punjab are in no position to afford any mistake.

Venue:

A batting friendly surface, the Chinnaswamy stadium will see a lot of runs. Traditionally teams have preferred chasing here as it is has small boundaries but in the recent matches, the old ball has become difficult to hit. So this can possibly change the minds of the teams.

Form guide:

KL Rahul and Chris Gayle have carried Punjab’s batting so far but they haven’t figured out their best middle order batsmen yet. The same applies to their pace bowling department especially the section of overseas pacer.

The spin department though is all settled with the two Ashwins at the forefront.

RCB’s batting has seen a lift thanks to the senior guys finding some form. But the bowling is still a worry. Steyn has done damage with the new ball but he hasn’t solved their death over issues.

The Achilles heel for RCB is their death over bowling and that is the reason they are sulking at the bottom of points table in IPL season 12.

Key numbers:

  • Its an even contest between the two teams in head to head battles. RCB has won 11 while Punjab has won 12 matches. However all three last encounters have been won by RCB.

  • Yuzvendra Chahal is the leading wicket-taker for both teams with 19 scalps to his name.

Also check how Delhi Capitals defeated Rajasthan Royals with Pant’s heroics

Players in focus:

Chris Gayle has fond memories of batting at Chinnaswamy stadium. With 421 runs in nine innings, Gayle is having a good run in IPL season 12 and it will be interesting to watch him against his old team. And do keep an eye on the Gayle versus Steyn match-up.

With two cracking fifties in his last three matches, Moeen Ali has stepped up to provide the solidarity to RCB’s middle-order. And with Kohli hinting that he may bat up in the order in the next game, Moeen can make another big impact before returning to England.

Chaitanya Laxman