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IPL 2018: Match 8, RCB vs KXIP, Preview: Punjab face the ‘Royal Challenge’ at Chinnasawamy

RCB have lost their last 5 matches in their home ground.

Kings XI Punjab
Kings XI Punjab. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The match 8 of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) will see Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) facing Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at Chinnaswamy Stadium. While the hosts have lost their first game, R Ashwin led side is riding high on confidence after winning their opening encounter against Delhi. However, it would be a different challenge for them to overcome RCB in their own den as Virat Kohli and his men would be looking to break their 5-match losing streak at the venue.

RCB lost to Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Eden Gardens as once again the frailties in their squad were exposed. They are eager to get back to the winning ways after a poor run of the last season is threatening to extend this year as well. Though for that to happen they will have to less reliant on their top 4 much-like the previous season. Even their bowling has looked thin despite picking some decent players in the auction. It would be crucial for them to build Chinnaswamy as their fortress again.

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Kings XI are in the happy space right now and a similar kind of atmosphere is needed for them to continue in the same vein throughout the season. Ashwin will be hoping for the juggernaut to continue and yet another clinical display is expected of them. They will also be aware of the fact that RCB is a dangerous side and even if one of their top batsmen clicks on the day, the game will be done and dusted there itself.

Toss: RCB won the toss and elected to bowl first

Royal Challengers Bangalore (Playing XI): Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock(w), Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Kulwant Khejroliya, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal

Kings XI Punjab (Playing XI): Lokesh Rahul(w), Mayank Agarwal, Yuvraj Singh, Aaron Finch, Karun Nair, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin(c), Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb Ur Rahman

How will the pitch play?

The slow and low wicket at Chinnaswamy was the point of discussion last year as it affected the chances of Kohli’s team to a large extent. Though this time around there are talks that the nature of the pitch has been changed in order to benefit the likes of AB de Villers, Kohli and Brendon McCullum. Moreover, short boundaries of the Stadium should make the venue a heaven for the batters.

Team Combinations

Royal Challengers Bangalore

The top 4 of RCB is the most dangerous in any T20 side in the world. The openers Quinton de Kock and Brendon McCullum have the ability to tear apart any bowling attack after which Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers follow. But this is where the problem starts for them. The remaining batsmen are not good enough to lift the team in case the top order fails. Also, the bowling attack is once again looking light though the skipper believes that it is their best ever in the IPL.

As far as the changes in the team are concerned, Kulwant Khejroliya might make way for Aniket Choudhary. It is unlikely that wholesale changes would work and the players deserve one more chance to prove their worth.

Kings XI Punjab

Aaron Finch is available and should walk into the side for Kings XI. Though his position in the batting order would be the point of deliberation for them. He can open the innings or also can bat in the middle order which he does for Australia in the shortest format. David Miller should feel unlucky to miss out to accommodate the Australian cricketer. The remaining line-up should be unchanged apart from any last minute injury.

Yupp TV

Focus will be on

AB de Villiers (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

AB de Villiers looked in some brilliant form in the last game and would feel he missed out on scoring big. Bangalore is his second home ground as he is the most loved cricketer in the city. The small boundaries also should help and there should be no surprise if he pulls out 360-degree shots against the opposition. He is due a big innings since making a comeback to all the format and expect fireworks from his bat.

KL Rahul (Kings XI Punjab)

There will be a feeling of Deja Vu for KL Rahul when he will walk out on the field for KXIP against his old franchise. His scintillating knock in the last game must have hurt every loyal RCB fan and if he does the same on Friday, it will hurt even more. The chances of Rahul going bonkers are more as he knows the ground really well being the local boy. Even his team will be banking on him to provide them with a good start and hopefully carry on to get a big one on the day.

Head to Head

Played- 20 Royal Challengers Bangalore – 8, Kings XI Punjab – 12, NR/Tie-  0

Stat Attack

5 – RCB have lost their last five matches at Chinnaswamy Stadium.

449 – Chris Gayle has scored 449 runs against KXIP for RCB at this venue.

Broadcast details

TV– Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 1 Hindi, Star Jalsha (Bengali), Star Maa Movies (Telegu), Star Sports Tamil

Online– Hotstar & YuppTv

Match Timings: 20:00 IST, 14:30 GMT

For more cricket news and other stories, visit Crictracker.com.

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