All of a sudden nobody wants to lose to the Royal Challengers, a team who has lost six-consecutive games in the tournament and is yet to register a win. Usually you associate Virat Kohli’s name with success, well not on this occasion. Kings XI has been a bit up and down in recent times with a form guide reading WLWL which has seen them drop in the standings ever so slightly.
Kings XI Punjab
Not even an unbeaten-century from KL Rahul was enough to get Kings XI Punjab home against the Mumbai Indians on Wednesday, I don’t know whether to be surprised or concerned. With KL Rahul back to his destructive-best alongside Chris Gayle at the top of the order, opposition teams will now be tempted to take the pace off the ball early with the spinners. Who could blame them? Rahul’s past three innings in the 2019 IPL consists of 55, 71* & 100*, not good reading for a bowler. Chris Gayle, also known as the “universe boss” cashed in on a flat deck in Mumbai as he crunched a brutalizing 63 off 36 deliveries featuring seven-colossal sixes. Mayank Agarwal missed their last match due to injury which saw David Miller elevated to No. 3, unfortunately it wasn’t a huge success. Given the match situations Punjab have found themselves in, Sarfaraz Khan has not batted in the last two games which is a questionable call, he’s been in very-good touch this season. Reports are that Chris Gayle has twisted his back and may miss tomorrow’s match which would be a costly blow to the home side.
With Ankit Rajpoot in serious-doubt to play and Hardus Viljoen being held wicketless in Mumbai, Kings XI has some decisions to make ahead of this match in Mohali. First things first, Mohammed Shami deserves a round of applause for his bowling performance against Mumbai. His team may not have gotten the win, but Shami’s 3/21 is a sign of good things to come. Sam Curran leaked more runs than a rusty old pipe, his expensive 1/54 really did let Pollard off the leash. The Englishman was dispatched into the Mumbai crowd six times, that could put some pressure on team management. They aren’t short on options though, Andrew Tye could be the favourite to replace Curran given that one of Murugan Ahswin or Varun Chakravarthy can play the role as Punjab’s second spinner.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
It’s been a tough start to the 2019 IPL for Bangalore, a team that has been a dominant-force in the past is no more. This has to be the worst performance I’ve ever seen from RCB, they have the players but seem to lack the ability at the moment. Even the extremely-energetic Virat Kohli isn’t his usual self, he has a cautious & concerned look on his face in the field. After Delhi were 3/108 chasing 150, RCB did well to fight back and get them six wickets down by the end of the innings, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Capitals from handing them their sixth-consecutive loss of IPL 12. It’s a very dark and lonely place all the way down the bottom of the points table, it’s just a matter of digging themselves out with a couple good performances with the bat like the rest of the competition. It only takes one or two good knocks from Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to put RCB back on the map, we’ve been waiting for it all season and they’re yet to rear their heads.
Just imagine if Virat returned to his 2016 form with the bat where he averaged 81+ and scored four tons, that would be enough to put them in playoffs contention! Right now, the superstar-duo are both averaging below 35 which is an accurate reflection on RCB’s campaign. As is usually the case, RCB’s bowling hasn’t hit any great heights following the trend of seasons gone by. Right-arm quick Navdeep Saini has picked up four wickets in his past two games for Bangalore and needs to make the most of his good run if his side is to recover from such a poor start to the tournament. Spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is such a dangerous bowler in this format, he’s already picked up nine wickets in IPL 12 and like Saini needs to produce some vital breakthroughs tomorrow if they are any chance of winning. Experienced Black Caps seamer Tim Southee has been very expensive in his two outings so far in the tournament and could be benched in Mohali.
Top 4 fantasy picks – Kings XI Punjab
- KL Rahul
- Mohammed Shami
- Ravi Ashwin
- David Miller
Wildcard pick – Sam Curran
Top 4 fantasy picks – Royal Challengers Bangalore
- Virat Kohli
- Navdeep Saini
- Yuzvendra Chahal
- AB de Villiers
Wildcard pick – Moeen Ali
Kings XI Punjab (possible) – 1. KL Rahul (wk) 2. Sam Curran 3. Mayank Agarwal/Karun Nair 4. Sarfaraz Khan 5. David Miller 6. Moises Henriques/Nicholas Pooran 7. Mandeep Singh 8. Ravi Ashwin © 9. Hardus Viljoen/Andrew Tye 10. Murugan Ashwin/Varun Chakravarthy 11. Mohammed Shami.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (possible) – 1. Parthiv Patel (wk) 2. Virat Kohli © 3. AB de Villiers 4. Marcus Stoinis 5. Moeen Ali 6. Akshdeep Nath 7. Pawan Negi/Washington Sundar 8. Tim Southee/Dale Steyn 9. Mohammed Siraj/Umesh Yadav 10. Yuzvendra Chahal 11. Navdeep Saini.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.