The Teams: Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore. KXIP meet RCB in what is essentially a bottom of the table clash. However, both teams earned themselves victories over the weekend and will be feeling a little more positive. While it is a tall order for either KXIP or RCB to make it to the top 4, Virat Kohli made it very clear yesterday that his team would fight until the end. He also said that in Chris Gayle might not find a place in the RCB XI as long as Travis Head provided the team with stability in the middle order as well as some part time off-spin. KXIP will be happy with their win on Saturday against DD and credit goes to their bowlers who held their nerve in the death overs.
The Venue: IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. Historically known as India’s one true seam paradise, both sides can expect to lean heavily on pace at Mohali. In the last game here, the track seemed to be two-paced with runs being scored with a great deal of difficulty. Out of the 10 wickets in the game between KXIP and DD, 8 were taken by seamers!
Our picks for your fantasy cricket team
Virat Kohli – Virat Kohli has a Bradmanesque average of over 100 in T20s this year. He is unstoppable. When asked about his form, he said he is hungry, not for food, but for runs. Although his PR skills might need a bit of work, there is absolutely nothing he needs to change with his batting! Expect some fireworks as he looks to lead his team into the top 4.
Glenn Maxwell – Maxwell has had an extremely disappointing IPL. He has not managed to convert his starts and more often than not insists on playing the reverse sweep even though its not working for him. He is an intelligent cricketer and given David Miller’s poor form, KXIP need Maxwell to deliver if they don’t want to end up at the bottom of the table. Time for the Big Show to live up to his name!
Sandeep Sharma – Our wildcard pick for this game, Sandeep Sharma bowled intelligently in the last game against DD to ensure that KXIP got over the line. He is effective both with the new ball and at the tail-end of the innings.
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(Original cover artwork by Ishita Mohanty. She tweets here.)