IPL 2015: Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore Preview

Written by Rick John Henry for @HollywoodbetsFollow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!

Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore | Wednesday 13 May | Mohali | 16:30

How the mighty have fallen. One couldn’t have predicted the way in which a largely unchanged, successful Kings XI Punjab side has imploded this season. The first side to be ruled out of the playoffs, KXIP have nothing except pride to play for from here on in. In contrast, the Royal Challengers Bangalore are in the thick of the race for the knockouts and if they can harness the momentum that has seen them win three from their last four fixtures, will likely emerge a dark horse for the trophy. The problem with RCB is that they have never been ones for consistency.


To Win Match
Kings XI Punjab
Tie  35/1
Royal Challengers Bangalore

Kings XI Punjab
From runners-up to rock bottom. The story of KXIP’s season cannot be put more simply. No great moves in the auction saw the Kings XI begin the 2015 with the core of their 2014 finals-making squad intact. They’ve gone on to lose nine of their eleven matches, their confidence and inevitably, their form. They’ve seen little runs from a power-packed batting line-up who proved to be the terror of the 2014 tournament. David Miller with 243 runs at an average of 27.00 tops the Kings XI charts, closely followed by George Bailey and Murali Vijay. Their bowling attack, another of last year’s strengths, have found middling returns. Anureet Singh, Sandeep Sharma and Axar Patel have all reached double figures, but have done so in fits and bursts. Glenn Maxwell has flopped dramatically but belatedly found some semblance of form in their last outing with KKR. Setting Kolkata a stiff target but virtue of having openers Vijay and Vohra dropped five times, the attack could not back it up and conceded 183 to lose by one wicket. It has been that kind of season for the Kings XI.



Royal Challengers Bangalore
A side as consistently packed with glittering names and power-hitters should have a far more sound IPL pedigree. In any event, they lie fourth on the table and look a menacing knockout prospect should they keep their nerve in their remaining matches. Of the three centuries struck in this year’s edition of the Indian Premier League, two of them have come from the RCB camp. Facing off against opponents KXIP two matches ago at home, Chris Gayle provided yet another of his IPL salvos to crunch 117 and leave the Kings XI with a monstrous total to chase. Their opponents never looked up to it and were bundled out hastily, Aravind and Starc picking up four wickets apiece. In their last outing, AB de Villiers produced a viciously sustained attack to blast 133 not out, bringing up his century from 47 balls and finishing with a strike rate above 225.00. Virat Kohli has provided the perfect foil to the exploits of Gayle and de Villiers, playing fantastic support innings while also scoring at his own rapid rate. All three batsmen occupy a spot in the top ten run-scorers this season.

Venue
The Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali plays host to this clash and has already witnessed the home side lose twice in 2015’s IPL. Kings XI have only played two matches at the ground. They’ve both been fairly low-scoring fixtures but whether the pitch will be enough to suppress the industry of RCB’s power-hitters remains to be seen. No rain is expected for Wednesday.

VERDICT: Royal Challengers Bangalore
Truly majestic when in full flight, truly abject when not, one never really knows which Royal Challengers Bangalore will arrive in Mohali. They’ve certainly been an inconsistent bunch over the years but one can’t help but feel that there is some sort of coherence to RCB’s proceedings this time around. Take them for the win and look to AB to continue his marvellous form.

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