RCB take on Kings XI in must win encounter
Mohali: With their backs firmly to the wall, out-of-sorts Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will take on Kings XI Punjab in a must-win Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the IS Bindra Stadium here on Saturday.
RCB have lost six matches on the trot, finding themselves rooted to the bottom of the eight-team table.
RCB slumped to their sixth straight defeat after going down against Delhi Capitals last Sunday.
Kohli, who was recently named the Leading Cricketer of the Year for the third successive time by Wisden Almanack, looked distraught and on Saturday will know that they can only reverse their fortunes by winning all their remaining eight matches from Saturday onwards.
RCB have been inconsistent with both their bowling and batting faltering on many occasions.
While Kohli and AB de Villiers have shown glimpses of their brilliance, the team’s dependence on the pair and pathetic bowling displays have let them down.
Besides Yuzvendra Chahal, no other bowler has looked the part for the Bengaluru based side.
In their last match against Delhi, barring Kohli’s 33-ball 41 and Moeen Ali’s 18-ball 32 cameo, RCB’s ordinary batting display took the side to a modest 149/8, a target which was easily achieved by their rivals.
Kohli’s leadership skills have also come under the scanner with many questioning his acumen in motivating a side. The fielding has also been a major cause of worry for RCB with almost every match witnessing several catches being grassed.
Coming to the home side, Punjab failed to defend 197 against Mumbai Indians in their last match with Kieron Pollard’s knock of a 31-ball 83 blowing them away. But barring that piece of individual brilliance to which few teams have an answer, R Ashwin’s wards have looked in great shape and the India Test offie has led from the front.
They have won four matches out of seven but they have maintained dominance at home.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (Captain), Parthiv Patel (wicket-keeper), AB de Villiers, Colin de Grandhomme, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Moeen Ali, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Devdutt Padikkal, Himmat Singh, Milind Kumar, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Heinrich Klaasen, Pawan Negi, Washington Sundar, Akshdeep Nath, Prayas Barman, Kulwant Khejroliya, Tim Southee.
Kings XI Punjab: Ravichandran Ashwin (Captain), KL Rahul (wicket-keeper), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Andrew Tye, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rehman, Karun Nair, Moises Henriques, Varun Chakravarthi, Harpreet Brar, Simran Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Hardus Viljoen, Ankit Rajpoot, Arshdeep Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Agnivesh Ayachi.