IPL 10, Match 43, RCB v KXIP: Kings XI Punjab Predicted XI

Kings XI Punjab have a lot of stake going into the Chinnaswamy Stadium. The home team will be playing for pride which gives this contest a lot of interest.

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Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab player celebrate fall of a wicket. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Both teams are coming into this game after a short break, which is a rarity in the IPL. Kings XI Punjab are still in fray for a spot in the final four, whereas, RCB became the first team of IPL 2017 to be ruled out of the Playoffs.

Kings XI Punjab will be fresh after their 4-day break. They deflated the Delhi Daredevils at home in their last game on Sunday, winning the game by all 10-wickets intact, which further increased their chances of a berth in the top four. With 5 league games still left, Punjab will have to win most of them. It has been a mix season for them as they have lost five and won four games so far.  The Maxwell-led side has to be more consistent in the business end of the tournament,

RCB will be the party spoilers in the rest of IPL 2017. Nothing went right for them this year but Kohli will be keen to get a couple of wins at the end of the tournament to avoid finishing at the bottom of the table.

It is a big game for Punjab and though they have won the previous encounter against RCB last month, they cannot be complacent at this stage of the tournament. Let us have a look at the Predicted XI for KXIP for their away game against RCB:

Openers (Martin Guptill and Hashim Amla)

In 2 games Guptill has made 73 runs, including an unbeaten 50 in the last game, and has been striking at the rate of 192.10. The Kiwi opener gives Punjab brutal power at the top of the order which compliments Amla perfectly. Guptill missed the early part of the tournament due to an injury but now can be a part of a possible road to the Playoffs. His free-flowing batting puts the opposition bowlers under pressure which ultimately plays into the hands of the tall New Zealand opener.

Hashim Amla has been in imperious touch this year. Though he missed the home game against Sunrisers due to an injury, Amla was back in action against DD where he finished undefeated on 16. The Proteas batsman has given Punjab great starts throughout the season as his average of 63 suggests. The 34-year old’s strike rate of 140 this year has been much more than his career strike rate of 127.67.

Middle Order (Manan Vohra, Glenn Maxwell, Shaun Marsh and Wriddhiman Saha)

Vohra hasn’t performed this year apart from his breath-taking innings of 95. The right-hander needs to get runs soon as he might lose his spot in the XI. Punjab’s 10-wicket win against DD in the last game meant that Vohra did not get an opportunity to bat. He has scores of 3 and 2 in the preceding game to DD which doesn’t scream of fine form.

Maxwell has had a middling season this year. He has led Kings XI well but will certainly want to improve on his season numbers of 193 runs in 8 innings at 32.16. While his strike rate of 178.70 has been brilliant, Maxwell has to be consistent if he wants his team to go through the next round. He might have to turn his arm over for a couple of overs as the wicket at Bangalore has a reputation of spinning.

Marsh had to wait at the sidelines for 5 games till he got a look in. His last innings was a fighting 84 against a dominating Sunrisers side. His glittering innings couldn’t help them win the game but has ensured that Marsh will feature in more games this year for Punjab.

Wriddhiman Saha has been athletic behind the stumps but hasn’t been able to replicate the same kind of performances in front of the stumps. An average of below 10 has left Saha wondering about what went wrong for him this year. There is still time for the Indian Test stumper to make amends.

All-rounders (Axar Patel)

While Axar has picked 10 sticks from 9 games, his economy rate of 7.66 has been way south of hi career’s 6.99. Axar has a reputation of keeping the run-scoring down but the batsmen have had a vice-like grip on his left-arm spin this year. His tidy spell of 2/22 against DD made sure that DD couldn’t fight back after the early strikes of the fast bowlers. The all-rounder needs to put in such performances more often than not.

A batting average of below 20 does not vouch for the batting talent Patel possess. He is certainly a better batsman as his first-class batting average of 48.45 suggests. The 23-year old occupies the No. 7 slot and can help gather momentum into Punjab’s innings.

Bowlers (Sandeep Sharma, Varun Aaron, Mohit Sharma and Pradeep Sahu)

Man of the match in the last game, Sandeep Sharma’s confidence will be sky-high. His spell with the new ball derailed the Daredevils top order as he sent back Samson, Billings and Shreyas Iyer in his first spell. Sharma’s 4/20 was also his best figures in his T20 career.

Aaron balls with pace and accounted for 2/3 against DD. Varun Aaron is a wicket-taking bowler and needs to be backed in order to get the best out of his raw pace. With 7 wickets in 4 games this year, KXIP have underused him just a little bit. He will be a regular feature in the XI at least in the next couple of games.

Mohit Sharma’s cutters in the middle overs will be crucial at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. Though he isn’t enjoying a great season, he has the skill and the right ammunition to make an impact in the business end of the tournament.

Pradeep Sahu’s leg-spin can be handy at Bangalore. The 31-year old has not won a single cap this year but might get his chance in this crucial encounter against RCB. Sahu rose to fame ever since he took all-ten wickets in a Kanga League game in Mumbai back in 2014. The leg-spinner has a lot of variations and experience to spin the web around batsmen.

The struggling batting line-up of RCB will be tested against some disciplined bowling. RCB’s bowling has been at par this year but will face a tough task of being up against a quality batting unit of Punjab.

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