IPL 2018: Kohli's RCB Eye Maiden Win Against Ashwin's Upbeat KXIP

    PTI | Updated: April 13, 2018, 2:04 PM IST
    IPL 2018: Kohli's RCB Eye Maiden Win Against Ashwin's Upbeat KXIP

    Virat Kohli at the nets (Twitter/RCB)

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    Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are hoping to get their campaign back on track after an opening game defeat, as they lock horns with Kings XI Punjab (KXIB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Friday.

    RCB finished second best in a cliffhanger to Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday after Sunil Narine snatched victory with a 17-ball 50. But RCB will expect some fireworks from Brendon McCullum and AB de Villiers, who blasted a 27-ball 43 and 23-ball 44, respectively, in the first game. McCullum's confidence will be high as he completed 9,000 T20 runs in the match.

    Skipper Virat Kohli, surprisingly, played second fiddle, scoring just 31 off 33, and he would like to have a better outing against KXIP. Other batsmen like Quinton de Kock and Sarfaraz Khan, and all-rounder Chris Woakes, who did not get many runs under their belts, would also be keen to contribute.

    Assisted by India's 2011 World Cup winning duo of Gary Kirsten and Ashish Nehra as batting and bowling coaches, Kohli could also think of letting Corey Anderson have bowl, given the small size of the Chinnaswamy stadium.

    Umesh Yadav and Woakes shared five wickets between them on Sunday, and would like to continue their form. Much was expected from the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar, but they couldn't weave their magic, claiming just one wicket for 77 runs in 56 balls.

    In-form New Zealand pacer Tim Southee may also get a chance to swing his arms, considering his reputation as one of the best new-ball bowlers in international cricket today.

    Punjab, meanwhile, are coming into the match with their tails up, having started the season on a resounding note, beating Delhi Daredevils by six wickets. KL Rahul, who made history by scoring the fastest-ever IPL fifty in that match, will seek to repeat his show. Rahul, who will be playing at his home ground of Bengaluru, had smashed six boundaries and four sixes in his 16-ball-51.

    Karun Nair, who scored a 33-ball fifty, also would be keen to continue his good work. Yuvraj Singh, who looked a pale shadow of his old self in the last match, scoring just 12 off 22 balls, would be keen to regain his touch. For Punjab, David Miller and Marcus Stoinis scored unbeaten 24 and 23 against Delhi, and would like to continue their roles of steering the team to victory in the death overs.

    Chris Gayle could open the innings as he knows the conditions well here, the venue where he smashed an incredible 175 in 2013. Aaron Finch, who was unavailable for the last match, also may get a chance.

    Punjab's bowlers did a fine job by restricting Delhi, with 17-year-old spinner Mujeeb-ur-Rahman making his IPL debut with a bang, picking up two wickets.

    Teams (likely XI):

    Royal Challengers Bangalore: Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock, Virat Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers, Sarfraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kulwant Khejroliya.

    Kings XI Punjab: KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Yuvraj Singh, Karun Nair, David Miller, Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin (captain), AJ Tye, Mohit Sharma, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman.
    First Published: April 13, 2018, 2:04 PM IST
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