By Suhas Nayse – SJFI Member
One of the most underachieved teams in the Indian Premier League (IPL) history is definitely Royal Challenges Bangalore (RCB). The RCB always had several match winners in their ranks but never clicked together as a unit. They even came quite close to lift the coveted IPL trophy when they reached the finals thrice. However, as the luck would have it, they just couldn’t deliver the knockout punch, much to the frustration of their die-hard fans.
This time around, RCB certainly look strong, both on the paper as well as on the field. They give enough indications of their strength and desire when the Virat Kohli-led side thumped 2016 champions Sunrisers Hyderabad by 10 runs in their first match of Dream11 IPL on Monday at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Debutant Devdutt Padikkal arrived in style with a match-winning innings at the top of the order. Veteran AB de Villiers has proved that he still has enough firepower left in his belly to turn the match on the basis of his typical aggressive batting. Leggie Yuzvendra Chahal then spun a web around SRH batsmen with a three-wicket haul.
If we see the track record of RCB and Kings XI Punjab over the years, it’s perfectly balanced. Both the teams have shared 24 matches equally.
However, RCB have the slight psychological advantage as they not only have a win under their belt but also defeated KXIP in four out of the five previous encounters.
The past record, however, has little impact on the fortunes of the team. The Kings XI Punjab would be determined to put the Super Over loss behind as quickly as possible as they take on RCB at Dubai on Thursday.
Kings XI Punjab, which is led by a Bangalorean KL Rahul, will be haunted by the heart-breaking defeat to Delhi Capitals in Dubai on Sunday. Mayank Agarwal played a fighting innings of 89. The opener and Chris Jordan fell in quick succession and DC pounced on the opportunity to claim the match in the Super Over. A costly umpire error in which KXIP were denied one run at the crucial stage of the match is still hurting them badly. Chris Gayle, who was an integral part of RCB, is now with KXIP and he will be looking to hurt his former side after missing the opener against DC. Coach Anil Kumble must have some special plans to challenge RCB and register points against their names on the table.