Royal Challengers Bangalore has nothing to fight for except regaining some pride by winning all of the remaining fixtures. They would obviously like to prove their overall numbers having already lost all the opportunities to make it to the knockouts.
RCB has three games left including the upcoming fixture against Kings XI Punjab at Bengaluru. The opposition, who are currently dreaming of the coveted fourth position in the points table, will hit them with full force which means only one fact – RCB is not going to have it easy at all.
Punjab has shown some really good collective performances which are something RCB has done throughout this season.
Kings XI Punjab beat RCB on the previous occasion the two team met in the tournament. The 8th match held at the Holkar Stadium, Indore, saw the home side edge past RCB by 8 wickets. The visitors experienced a batting failure after electing to bat first as none of the batsmen could make any significant contribution to the team.
AB de Villiers, who was making a comeback the team, was the only exception and hit 89 off just 46 balls to help RCB reach a respectable 148/4 after 20 overs. The total, however, was not even functional as Punjab chased it down in just 14.3 overs with 8 wickets in hands.
Opener Hashim Amla played the central role in the win with his 58 which came off 38 balls while Glenn Maxwell added the entertainment quotient with his attacking 43 runs off just 22 deliveries.
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The big three – Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers -need to step and restore the respect of their team. With all the possibilities of making it to the playoffs as good as dead, fans will expect some worthy performances from these star individuals who are the biggest crowd puller.
For Kohli and De Villiers, who have struggled for consistency, the upcoming matches will also be an opportunity to gain some rhythm before heading to England for the Champions Trophy.
Tymal Mills should come in place of Adam Milne. The likes of Amla and Maxwell would love to feast on Milne weakness – inaccuracy. Mills, on the other hand, bring in more variation apart from being equally fast as Milne. This is the most anticipated change in the XI. Chris Gayle should also replace Travis Head. Shane Watson’s poor form has also been a huge drawback and it would be interesting to see if gets rested or Kohli decides to bear his underperformances.
Here is the XI: Virat Kohli (c), Travis Head, Mandeep Singh, AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadhav (WK), Pawan Negi, Tymal Mills, S. Aravind, A Chaudhary, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Milne.