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IPL: Can Kohli's RCB end losing run against Kings XI Punjab?

April 13, 2019 00:31 IST

RCB have been inconsistent in their first six games in IPL-12, with both their bowling and batting faltering on many occasions.

IMAGE: Royal Challengers Bangalore have lost their first six matches in IPL-12. Photograph: BCCI

Gasping for breath after six successive defeats, Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to snap their winless streak and stay afloat when they take on an inconsistent Kings XI Punjab in a must-win IPL encounter, in Mohali, on Saturday.

Nothing seems to be going right for RCB, who slumped to their sixth straight loss after going down against Delhi Capitals in their IPL match.

 

Kohli, who was recently named the Leading Cricketer of the Year for the third successive time by Wisden Almanack, will hope that fortunes finally knock at the doors of RCB as they need to win all their next eight matches to salvage any hope of making it to the play-offs.

RCB have been inconsistent in their first six games in IPL-12, with both their bowling and batting faltering on many occasions.

RCB bowlers had allowed Sunrisers Hyderabad to post a mammoth 232 with centuries from Jonny Bairstow and David Warner before they were skittled out for 113 to lose the match by a massive 118 runs.

Against Kolkata Knight Riders, despite AB de Villiers and Kohli scoring 63 and 84 respectively, RCB bowlers failed to defend 205 with KKR riding on Andre Russell's explosive knock of 13-ball 48 to romp home.

IMAGE: Kings XI Punjab openers Chris Gayle and KL Rahul have been in good form with the bat. Photograph: BCCI

Yuzvendra Chahal has been their top bowler with nine wickets but rest of the bowling line-up conceded far too many runs.

RCB's batting too has been equally inconsistent.

In their first match against Chennai Super Kings, RCB were bowled out for a paltry 70 in 17.1 overs after their top-order crumbled against spinners Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir.

In their last match against Delhi Capitals, 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 chased down.

"We need to grab those chances, can't give excuses every day. We just weren't good on the given day. That's the whole story of RCB this season," Kohli had said after the match.

"When you have clarity, you can take your chances better. It hasn't happened so far, and that's the reality."

Kings XI Punjab, on the other hand, have won four matches out of seven but they have maintained dominance on their home ground in Mohali.

However, Punjab failed to defend 197 against Mumbai Indians in their last match with Kieron Pollard's knock of 31-ball 83 blowing them away.

Despite the loss, KXIP's batting has done well with opener K L Rahul, who scored unbeaten century against Mumbai, and Chris Gayle looking in devastating form.

Gayle had felt a twitch in the back in the previous encounter against Mumbai and it remains to be seen if he would be available for Saturday's clash against RCB.

Kings XI also has the likes of David Miller and Mandeep Singh and the side will look forward to some big knocks from them as well.

The pace-spin duo of Mohammad Shami and Ashwin has been KXIP's best bowlers and they would look to put another good show.

Teams:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Parthiv Patel, 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 (w/k), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Andrew Tye, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Karun Nair, Moises Henriques, Varun Chakravarthi, Harpreet Brar, Simran Singh, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Hardus Viljoen, Ankit Rajpoot, Arshdeep Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Agnivesh Ayachi.

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