The Friday encounter at the N. Chinnaswamy stadium is between two teams who were considered to be the heavy favorites for the contendership of the title this year. While the Kings XI Punjab have managed to live up to their hype and at times even exceeded them, the Royal Challengers Bangalore has had a tough outing this season. RCB will be playing at home against the Kings XI and the short boundaries and paradise of a batting wicket might work against them considering the form in which the Kings XI batsmen are right now.
Kings XI Punjab
X Factor: Glenn Maxwell has been the prime entertainer, run scorer and the MVP of this season so far. With him it’s not the case if he is going to score or not, with him it’s about how much is he going to score. He has been dismissed 4 times around his 90’s now. The problem that the other teams have to face is that he does his scoring so fast that he leaves enough time for the other batsman to do some more scoring. He will once again be the key man for Punjab as they enter a familiar territory and it will most probably come down to which batsman has outscored the other team.
Watch out for: Sandeep Sharma, George Bailey.
Sandeep Sharma has proved to be the spearhead of the bowling for the Kings. He has consistently picked wickets at the start of the innings and has taken up the responsibility when Mitchell Johnson has seemed to be out of touch. George Bailey on the other hand struck form in the last game against the Chennai Super Kings. He made an impressive 40 of just 13 deliveries and if he continues to be this destructive he provides a very good depth to the batting line up.
Weak point: Mitchell Johnson has still not been able to pick wickets at the top. He is one of the key players in the team and needs to take up responsibility for his job. This time around Punjab will be poised against the likes of Chris Gayle and Ab De Villiers in good form. If Johnson doesn’t get rid of Gayle early and control the innings right from the start, it might end up being a tough matchup for them.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
X factor: Ab de Villiers have found form at the right moment. His battle with Steyn is now legendary and if there is anyone in this world that can manipulate a bowling lineup and can score at the rate and style at which Maxwell does, It’s only Ab De Villiers. De Villiers will have to play the role of holding the batting lineup together. The star studded batting lineup has turned out to be brittle at times and De Villiers is the man who can bring about a change to that habit
Watch out for: Chris Gayle, Yuzvendra Chahal.
Chris Gayle has got starts in all the game he has played so far. He is the kind of batsman who can destroy the confidence of a team and someone like him is always dangerous. He was dismissed by Sandeep Sharma the last time around and he would look to get revenge on him for that wicket. Yuzvendra Chahal will prove to be the key player against Glenn Maxwell. It will be the battle to watch out for and considering the economical performance of Chahal so far and the destruction that is Glenn Maxwell it will be the perfect battle for the spectators to watch.
Weak point: Yuvraj Singh has not lived up to his prize as of yet. He has played a couple of good innings this season but considering the talent that is Yuvraj Singh, he has left a sour taste in the mouth of many fans. He needs to buck up and smash his way to form if he wants to save his sinking career.