IPL 2021 Preview, PBKS vs RCB: Punjab Kings face uphill task against RCB juggernaut | Cricket News – Times of India

IPL 2021 Preview, PBKS vs RCB: Punjab Kings face uphill task against RCB juggernaut | Cricket News – Times of India

CHANDIGARH: During every player auction, Punjab Kings’ (PBKS) team management emphasizes on getting a balanced side for the upcoming season, but six matches down in the 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), they still seem clueless about a settled unit.
One thought the massive nine-wicket win over defending champions Mumbai Indians last Friday would have given them the momentum. However, Punjab’s inconsistency came back to haunt them as they slumped to a five-wicket loss to Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday.
Tottering at the bottom half of the table, with only a couple of wins, KL Rahul’s boys have their task cut out against a rampaging Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday.

Even after four losses, it certainly is unfathomable that the No.1 ranked T20 batter Dawid Malan continues to warm the bench.
Against KKR, a brisk cameo from Englishman Chris Jordan somehow helped them crawl to 123 but such totals going ahead towards the business end of the tournament could only result in yet another season of misery for the Mohali-based outfit.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli’s team has been in scintillating form with five wins from six outings but RCB can ill-afford to be complacent against an unpredictable Punjab.
The Bengaluru franchise has steamrolled the opposition with an explosive batting line-up complemented by a lethal bowling attack, and the latest side to bear their brunt were the Delhi Capitals, who narrowly went down by a run on Tuesday.

Dethroned by Chennai Super Kings from the top spot in the points table, Royal Challengers Bangalore boast of probably the most fearsome top order in captain Virat Kohli (163 runs) and his opening partner Devdutt Pallikal (188 runs), while the middle-order is manned by the likes of a vintage AB de Villiers (204 runs) who is in ominous form, and Australian Glenn Maxwell (223 runs).
The credit for RCB’s brilliant run this season goes to the team management and the skipper for smartly utilizing de Villiers as a finisher. Mr. 360, as de Villiers is popularly known, has slammed two outstanding half-centuries so far and the Bengaluru outfit would expect the South African to tame the Punjab bowlers.

On the bowling front, death-over specialist Harshal Patel has been on the money every time the skipper has employed him.
Against Delhi Capitals, Mohammed Siraj successfully defended 14 in the final over against a well-set pair of Rishabh Pant and Shimron Hetmyer, to hand the men-in-red a thrilling win. It will be interesting to see if the duo can dominate the Karnataka pair of Rahul and his opening partner Mayank Agarwal on Friday.

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