IPL 2018: RCB vs KXIP, Match 8 - Kings XI Punjab Predicted XI

IPL 2018: RCB vs KXIP, Match 8 – Kings XI Punjab Predicted XI

With the presence of a few strong players on the bench, Punjab will be tempted to make a few changes in the XI.

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

It was a thunderous start to the season from the Kings XI Punjab, firing across all departments in Mohali against the Delhi Daredevils. New recruitment KL Rahul smashed the fastest fifty in the history of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and sent a statement to the Indian selectors, who might be looking at him a little more closely after that blitzkrieg.

While the Royal Challengers suffered a defeat in their first game, they did well with the bat, a facet Punjab bowlers should be working on. It won’t get easy for them at the Chinnaswamy if the likes of Vira Kohli, AB de Villiers, Brendon McCullum and Mandeep Singh get going. Their spinners did a fantastic job last time around and will hope to continue the momentum.

It will be a closely-contested game between these two sides, who look solid on paper. They also have a strong bench with the likes of Chris Gayle and Aaron Finch and it’ll be interesting to see if anyone of them gets into the XI. Here’s the predicted XI of Punjab for this fierce contest.

Openers – (Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul)

Mayank Agarwal had a record-breaking domestic season and he will get a few more chances despite failing to make his mark in the first game. He certainly has the ability to score big runs and will be a crucial asset to the side. Ashwin would be wary of the form he’s been in and he will be more than happy to go with him ahead of Finch or Gayle.

Rahul cemented his position at the top for a few more games with that sensational knock in Mohali. It was power-hitting with a touch of furnace from the Karnataka lad, who will be eager to replicate the heroics at his domestic home ground, Bangalore.

Middle Order – (Yuvraj Singh, Karun Nair, Aaron Finch)

The Punjab unit went with Yuvraj Singh at number 3, a move that didn’t really work well. But he will get a few more chances considering how good a player he is. If not, there’s another decent option in Karun Nair for the number 3 spot, with Yuvraj coming in at number 4.

David Miller stood strong at the other end and played a wonderful knock in the previous match. But Aaron Finch is back with the team and might replace Miller. Finch has been doing well Internationally as a middle-order batsman and it might be a decent change for Punjab.

All-rounders – (Marcus Stoinis and Axar Patel)

Not many expected Marcus Stoinis to play in the previous match, but the Australian did enter the playing XI and finished the game in style with the bat. He will be used more often as a finisher considering the top order is all set with Indian experience. He can provide a few overs with the ball as well.

Axar Patel has been one of the finds of the IPL, who won the emerging player award a few years ago. He’s now an important member of the unit, who will aim to take his performances another notch higher. He was expensive with the ball in the first game but returned with a couple of wickets.

Bowlers – (Ravichandran Ashwin, Mujeeb Zadran, Andrew Tye, Mohit Sharma)

There has been a lot of debate if Ashwin will continue with two off-spinners on a ground like Bangalore. He might consider going in with the same XI as Mujeeb will be hard to pick as not many have played him yet. Skipper Ashwin too has been bowling decent leg-breaks this season, adding to the variety to his force.

Andrew Tye and Mohit Sharma will be the main fast bowlers for Punjab in this game as well. Sharma had a shaky start, but he bounced back brilliantly towards the end. Tye had a below-par start as well, but he will be eager to turn the tables around and return with a few wickets after his name.

Here’s the KXIP Predicted XI for the game against RCB

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