Updated: October 2, 2021 2:14:07 pm
Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to inch closer to securing a playoff berth when they clash with Punjab Kings in their Indian Premier League match in Sharjah on Sunday. Eyeing their first IPL title triumph, RCB are currently placed third in the pecking order with seven wins and four defeats for a total of 14 points.
Another two points from a win will almost assure them of a place in the place-offs but for that, RCB will need to put it across Punjab Kings who are coming off a morale-boosting win against Kolkata Knight Riders.
With their five-wicket victory over KKR, Punjab Kings too kept alive their prospects of making the playoffs, even though they are down at fifth position with 12 points after five wins and seven reverses.
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) October 2, 2021
Up against an ambitious RCB outfit, Punjab Kings will have their task cut out at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Even though he didn’t go on to make a big score, Virat Kohli looked good during his stay in the middle in his team’s victory over Rajasthan Royals, as did the skipper’s young opening partner Devdutt Padikkal.
Both of them played some cracking shots before the in-form star all-rounder Glenn Maxwell completed the job with his second straight half-century.
If the situation demands, like in their last outing, Maxwell can again afford to look at Srikar Bharat to build a solid partnership in the middle overs.
They were among the runs against KKR, and will look to do an encore against RCB.
— Punjab Kings (@PunjabKingsIPL) October 2, 2021
The biggest plus for Punjab Kings heading into the RCB game is their death bowling that paved the way for their win in the last match.
Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh’s two incisive overs at the death went a long way in setting up Punjab’s victory against KKR, and the team would hope for a similar outing from the two against RCB.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Navdeep Saini, Glenn Maxwell, Dan Christian, Rajat Patidar, Dushmantha Chameera, Pavan Deshpande, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Azharuddeen, Sachin Baby, Wanindu Hasaranga, George Garton, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shahbaz Ahmed, Devdutt Padikkal, Kyle Jamieson, Suyash Prabhudessai, KS Bharat, Tim David, Akash Deep, AB de Villiers.
Punjab Kings: KL Rahul (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Arshdeep Singh, Ishan Porel, Shahrukh Khan, Mohammed Shami, Nathan Ellis, Adil Rashid, Murugan Ashwin, Harpreet Brar, Moises Henriques, Chris Jordan, Aiden Markram, Mandeep Singh, Darsan Nalkande, Prabhsimran Singh, Ravi BIshnoi, Utkarsh Singh, Fabian Allen, Saurabh Kumar, Jalaj Saxena.
Match starts: 3:30 pm IST.
SRH aim to dent KKR’s play-off prospects
Out of the play-offs race, bottom-placed Sunrisers Hyderabad will look to dent Kolkata Knight Riders’ chances of making it to the knockout stage when they face off in an IPL game here on Sunday.
With nine defeats from 11 matches, SRH are languishing at the bottom, while KKR still have hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage as they are at fourth place with 10 points from 12 matches.
SRH have won just one match out of the four that they have played since the resumption of the IPL in the UAE.
While SRH had returned to winning ways after five losses on the trot with a convincing victory over Rajasthan Royals, they lost their last game by six wickets at Sharjah, allowing Chennai Super Kings to qualify for the play-offs.
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) October 2, 2021
The Sunrisers had dropped their only IPL-winning (2016) skipper David Warner after axing him from captaincy but that didn’t change the fate of the team as Kane Williamson has not been able to revive the fortunes of the Orange Army.
For SRH, batting remains their weakest link, especially in the absence of Jonny Bairstow.
While English opener Jason Roy sizzled on his debut with a quickfire 60 and Williamson too scored a 51 in their successful chase of 165 against RR, both came a cropper against CSK in their last game.
In the bowling department, Jason Holder has time and again given them the breakthroughs, but senior India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddarth Kaul have disappointed.
Leg-spinner Rashid Khan remains SRH’s biggest weapon against any opposition, but he didn’t have enough runs to play with most times.
For KKR, the UAE leg of the IPL has been a topsy-turvy affair as they have won three games, while losing two so far.
The two-time former champions have impressed with their performance in the second half, and even their two defeats were narrow, where they lost in the last over.
Venkatesh Iyer has been the star performer with the bat in the second leg for KKR, while Rahul Tripathi has scored the maximum runs for the team this season.
The decision to move Nitish Rana up the order has also paid dividends but Shubman Gill has not been able to capitalise on the starts.
In bowling, Varun Chakravarthy has been their go-to man as he picked up six wickets in the second leg, while Sunil Narine too has been among the wickets.
But they have concerns in the pace department with Andre Russell and Lockie Ferguson missing games following injuries, forcing skipper Eoin Morgan to make changes.
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) October 2, 2021
Even the KKR captain needs to get some runs under his belt.
Tim Southee and Shivam Mavi is the new pace bowling pair for KKR and they will need to step up.
Pacer Prasidh Krishna did well to snap four wickets in the matches that he had played, before being dropped for conceding 22 runs in the 19th over, against CSK.
Kolkata Knight Riders: Eoin Morgan (captain), Dinesh Karthik, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Karun Nair, Nitish Rana, Rahul Tripathy, Shubman Gill, Harbhajan Singh, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kuldeep Yadav, Lockie Ferguson, Pawan Negi, M Prasidh Krishna, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Dube, Tim Southee, Vaibhav Arora, Varun Chakravarthy, Andre Russel, Ben Cutting, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Venkatesh Iyer, Sheldon Jackson, Tim Seifert
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (captain), David Warner, Manish Pandey, Sherfane Rutherford, Wriddhiman Saha, Shreevats Goswami, Rashid Khan, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Abhishek Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddharth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Urman Malik, Basil Thampi, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Abdul Samad, J Suchith, Jason Holder, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Kedar Jadhav, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman, Jason Roy.
Match starts at 7:30 PM IST.
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