IPL 2020: Kings XI face the mighty Bangalore as they strive to stay in the hunt
The KXIP are hurt, as they ended up on the wrong side of three cliffhangersImage source: Twitter

IPL 2020: Kings XI face the mighty Bangalore as they strive to stay in the hunt

Time for the ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle to rescue Kings XI Punjab

Kings XI Punjab need a win, desperately and urgently. They have their openers as the top two run-getters in the league, with a hundred each, but they just have a solitary win to show for it.

Royal Challengers on the other hand, have had an uncharacteristic first half of IPL as they find themselves comfortably placed at number 3 in the points table. And with all their combinations working, they always seem like a side ready for a challenge.

The KXIP are hurt, as they ended up on the wrong side of three cliffhangers. Examining their performance in the 7 games, the reasons behind them being bottom of the table can be boiled down to three things, their inconsistent bowling. The inability to close out games, and continuous chopping and changing.

Halfway into the league, the Punjab based franchisee are still unsure about what their best XI is. They haven’t been able to figure out who to play and where to play them.

This insecurity, and no understanding of what their roles are, has made it difficult for the players to perform to their potential. The prime example of this would be Chris Jordan, who has been in and out of the squad. Jordan is known in the cricketing circuits as a death-over specialist, but has barely been able to even scratch the surface of his potential in this IPL.

Their game against KKR can give one the idea of how they have not been able to close games, even more so than the three cliffhangers they lost. It was their game to lose after almost 16 overs of the chase and one of their openers still in the middle, and boy did they manage to do it in style.

For RCB, it was as if a single change solved all their problems. As soon De Villiers donned the wicket keeping gloves, the side found balance like never before, and have been unstoppable since.

Kings XI Punjab need to win today’s encounter, for the 2 points and for their confidence. And they need to win it for the league, because it is too soon for one of the teams to reach near zero chances of qualification mathematically. And in order for them to be able to do that, their bowling unit needs to be ready to run into a fearsome RCB batting.

Gayle’s almost assured to make a comeback, which would mean Mujeeb would be out and the Indian leg-spinner in Murugan Ashwin would be back in.

Likely 11s:

RCB: Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers (wk), Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Isuru Udana, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal

KXIP: Chris Gayle, KL Rahul (c), Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Glenn Maxwell/James Neesham, Mandeep Singh, Chris Jordan, Mohammed Shami, Murugan Ashwin/K Gowtham, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh

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