The only positive for KXIP, if any, is the fact that their only win in IPL 2020 came against RCB at the start of the tournament. Since then though, the teams have moved in completely contrasting directions. Despite Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul dominating the run-charts, their batting hasn’t come together. This is why they will be hopeful of a miraculous performance from Gayle. The latter looks set to replace Glenn Maxwell, who has hardly scored a run although there are also chances of both playing.
Even in the bowling department, Mohammad Shami and spinner Ravi Bishnoi have done the bulk of the good work. The likes of Sheldon Cottrell, Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Chris Jordan have let the team down.
After a long time, RCB have looked like a team that can dominate the opponents. The success of Devdutt Padikkal at the top has had a lot to do with Bangalore’s success this year. The youngster has got the team off to flying starts on a number of occasions. This has subsequently reduced the pressure on skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, who have been able to break free.
In the bowling department, the spin twins of Washington Sundar and Yuzvendra Chahal have wreaked havoc while Chris Morris’ return from injury has strengthened the bowling. Navdeep Saini has been impressive in phases.
Head-to-Head Record: There is hardly anything to choose between the teams as Punjab have won 13 and Bangalore 12 out of 25 games.
KXIP Predicted XI: KL Rahul (c), Mayank Agarwal, Mandeep Singh, Nicholas Pooran, Simran Singh (w), Glenn Maxwell, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Chris Gayle, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh
RCB Predicted XI: Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers(w), Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
The pitch at Sharjah is slowing down, but it is still good for batting. Spinners have started coming into play as well.
The weather will test the players’ stamina with temperature likely to be in the mid-30s