IPL 2020: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kings XI Punjab - Talking Points

IPL 2020 RCB vs KXIP: Here's a look at the major talking points from the match.

IPL 2020: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kings XI Punjab - Talking Points

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) registered a much-needed win in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 on Thursday when they beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at Sharjah. The win was only their second of the tournament so far and they made it difficult for themselves and won off the very last ball of the game thanks to an excellent final over from Yuzvendra Chahal. (IPL 2020 FULL COVERAGE |  IPL 2020 SCHEDULE  | IPL 2020 POINTS TABLE)

Despite the positive outcome, the KL Rahul-led side are currently still languishing at the bottom of the eight-team standings. On the other hand, RCB remain static at their third spot having collected 10 points in the league stages thus far. Here's a look at the major talking points from the match. (IPL 2020 ORANGE CAP  |  IPL 2020 PURPLE CAP)

Almost Deja Vu for KXIP

KXIP's staggering number of losses so far this season is down less to them having a poor all-round side and more to them not having the stomach for when the match enters the deep end. Too many times they have been in close situations now and have somehow always contrived to lose the match from there.

That very nearly happened against RCB too. Needing two to win in the final over, Yuzvendra Chahal gave just one run in the first four balls before KL Rahul was run-out attempting a single that never was on. KXIP needed a run off the final ball but a Super Over was very much a possibility given the way Chahal was bowling. Thankfully for KXIP there were no repeats as Nicholas Pooran smashed a six to end the match.

Gayle's New Role - Here to Stay?

One of the main reasons that Chris Gayle hadn't featured in the IPL before the RCB match was that KXIP's opening tandem of Rahul and Mayank Agarwal were in excellent form. So even when he was included in the playing XI, he batted in a new Number 3 role, something that would be unfamiliar to him given he's spent almost his entire senior career as an opener.

Gayle did show some signs of rust to start with and had scored just 7 off 15 balls but his ability to make up for a slow start meant he finished with a respectable 53 off 45 balls. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to this role in future matches or if KXIP will look to open with him in some situations.

Sending Dube, Sundar Ahead of ABD Doesn't Pay Off

Batting first, RCB posted a competitive target of 171-6 but when they were reduced to 63-2 and had Kohli in the middle, it seemed like the right time to send in AB de Villiers and let the two work their magic the way they did against Kolkata Knight Riders. However, RCB opted to first send Washington Sundar then Shivam Dube before ABD made his way to the crease.

The main reason, as revealed by Kohli after the match, was to use left-handers to counter KXIP's leg-spin. The ploy did not work and a further crunching of the numbers makes it seem even more head-scratching; De Villiers has a fine record against leg-spin, averaging 52.50 in all T20s while striking at 135.77.

Should Kohli Be Less Conservative?

However, it wasn't just the strategy related to the batting order that was questionable. Kohli's knock against KXIP seemed a bit conservative to start with and while that is how he usually plays, the late flurry didn't quite come off as it should have and thus he was unable to aid his side's cause as much as he could have.

Another reason Kohli batted within himself was due to the fact the side had lost both Devdutt Padikkal and Aaron Finch cheaply. However, the presence of big hitters like Chris Morris and Isuru Udana lower down the order means Kohli can, in the future, play with a bit more freedom from the get go.