A slightly cooler climate, a relatively flat pitch, bowling attacks aggrandized by a few intrinsic bowlers, and plenty of batting prowess sum up the impending Kings XI Punjab versus Royal Challengers Bangalore clash at the Holkar Stadium. KXIP is set to host the Bangalore-based franchise after they recently hosted and subsequently upset the Smith-led Rising Pune Supergiants.
The KXIP vs RCB clash promises to be a powerful one, though, since there’s plenty of power in both batting lineups to tackle the bowling strengths. With a high-scoring pitch in tow, it promises to be an exciting encounter.
CricShots brings to you Five Player Battles to look forward to in today’s game –
1) Yuzvendra Chahal vs Glenn Maxwell.
The tricky leg-spinner has gone from strength to strength over the last couple of years and has subsequently won Virat Kohli’s confidence. Chahal has specifically improved with the air-time, and has mastered to art of bowling quicker through the air, thus getting purchase from the wicket.
Glenn Maxwell, on the other hand, won a call-up in the third Test during Australia’s tour of India and scored his first ever Test century, batting wonderfully. He carried the good-hitting form into the IPL, playing a pivotal role against Pune, taking RCB home in typical ‘Big Show’ style. With Maxwell’s weaknesses against spin well-known, will Chahal be able to tame the lion?
2) Chris Gayle vs T Natarajan.
Chris Gayle, easily one of the top 3 players to have played T20 Cricket, is on the brink of becoming the first ever player to surpass 10,000 runs in Test Cricket. He needs just 25 more. However, Chris Gayle hasn’t been in the best of forms since the last season. With batsmen like Gayle, though, the form is hardly a problem. Gayle especially is always just a few hits away.
T Natarajan, the pacer who has impressed with wonderful domestic performances, made his debut in the last game and can be the surprise package for KXIP. Gayle gives you a chance early in the innings, and more so when he isn’t exactly in the middle of a good run. Surely a contest to look forward to.
3) Kedar Jadhav vs Axar Patel.
Kedar Jadhav has quietly been carving a niche for himself in World Cricket. His spectacular hundred against England, along with Virat Kohli a couple of months back was easily one of the best recent ODI knocks. The duo snatched victory from jaws of defeat. Kedar Jadhav became a household name. That one knock redefined the diminutive man from Pune and did his confidence a world of good. He followed it up with a staggering 90 that almost took India home in the last ODI. The series changed him radically as a batsman. In the absence of Kohli and ABD, Jadhav surely is one of the batting mainstays for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Axar Patel is one of those left-arm slow bowlers who can suppress you and gradually eat into you before you understand. With Jadhav in sizzling form, he seems to be up for the slow left arm challenge.
4) Hashim Amla vs Tymal Mills.
Hashim Amla, the stunning technician from South Africa, has the ability to make the best of bowling attacks look ordinary, with his relentless persistence, even as he keeps scoring briskly against top bracket bowling, thanks to sound technique and composure. Tymal Mills, the English left-arm seamer, on the other hand, has been incredible so far with his bowling variations and has been the spearhead as far as the RCB are concerned. It will be interesting to see how he fares against Amla’s extraordinary technique.
5) Shane Watson vs Sandeep Sharma.
When Shane Watson was appointed as the stand-in captain till either of Virat Kohli or ABD is available, everyone thought he would buckle under the pressure of the added responsibility, especially considering the fact that he’s going through a rough phase as a player. He proved us all wrong though, as he’s back in his elements and held his own as a Captain, leading RCB to a thrilling victory over the Daredevils, with his calculated risk of asking Negi to bowl the last over paying rich dividends. With Watson slowly coming back in his elements, it’ll be interesting how he handles Sandeep Sharma’s tricky swing