IPL: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kings XI Punjab Preview

Cricketer hits ball

Our cricket writer previews the IPL fixture between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Kings XI Punjab set to get underway on Friday 13 April. 

The Royal Challengers Bangalore really do need to sort out their bowling inadequacies if they are to improve on last season’s poor showing in the IPL. They were once again undone in the opening match of this campaign as Sunil Narine blitzed his way to a 19-ball 50.

The Kings XI, meanwhile, enjoyed a comfortable victory over the Delhi Daredevils with KL Rahul’s record-breaking innings at the top of the order proving the difference. The two sides will meet this Friday at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in what should be a cracking contest.

RCB vs KXI | Friday 13 April | M Chinnaswamy Stadium | 16:30

To Win Match
Royal Challengers Bangalore 62/100
Tie 35/1
Kings XI Punjab 27/20

Royal Challengers Bangalore
The Royal Challengers appear to be suffering from the same issues that plagued them throughout their 2017 campaign. I’m not really sure they’ve made the correct personnel changes to remedy last season’s shortcomings if I’m honest.

Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes were all brought in as all-rounders. The only real marquee bowling reinforcements comes in the form of the Umesh Yadav, who was the rose amongst the thorns on Sunday. His return of 4-0-27-2 was invaluable. He also picked up the key wicket of Narine after the West Indian had his way with Woakes, Chahal and Washington Sundar.

For all of their issues with the bat, they have an immense top order. Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers are all likely to keep their places in the side going forward. If these guys get going, we could well see a total in excess of 220.

It’ll be interesting to see whether or not Woakes retains his place in the side as the fourth overseas player. He was expensive but did manage three wickets, accounting for the very important scalps of Chris Lynn and Andre Russell. All in all, I doubt we’ll see any changes in this side. It’s early days and there’s no real need to panic yet. Slipping up against the Kings XI, however, could change that.

Kings XI Punjab
Ravichandran Ashwin was superb in his first outing as captain. That said, his team did come up against a very underwhelming Delhi Daredevils outfit who look as though they’ll end up being the whipping boys of the competition.

One does feel that the likes of Ashwin and Afghan rookie, Mujeeb Ur Rahman may battle against the three right-handers at the top of the order. Axar Patel’s role will take on added importance following a forgettable opening match. The normally miserly left-hander was taken apart by Gautam Gambhir and Shreyas Iyer to a lesser extent.

Batting wise, the Kings XI look in excellent shape. I’m not sure we’ll even see Aaron Finch force his way into the side just yet. Their four overseas stars – David Miller, Marcus Stoinis, AJ Tye and Rahman – were good with Tye slightly below par. Still, the Aussie seamer is far too good a T20 bowler to leave out of a side after one sub-par performance. His variations will be key against a stacked RCB top order.

As I mentioned earlier, there won’t be any changes to this following an excellent opening fixture. KL Rahul will need to be at his brilliant best again whether chasing or setting. You just feel that the Kings XI will need a score of 180+ if they are to stand any chance against the Bengaluru juggernaut.

Verdict: Royal Challengers Bangalore 62/100
While I do worry about their attack, the Royal Challengers should prove far too good for the Kings XI. The top order quartet of de Kock, McCullum, de Villiers and Kohli will get them over the line pretty comfortably. 

Written by Jason Dewey for Hollywoodbets

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