IPL-17 | Resurgent RCB take on erratic PBKS in battle of survival

IPL-17 | Resurgent RCB take on erratic PBKS in battle of survival
IPL-17 | Resurgent RCB take on erratic PBKS in battle of survival

A resurgent Royal Challengers Bengaluru will look for their fourth consecutive victory when they face an unpredictable Punjab Kings as the two sides fight for survival in the Indian Premier League, in Dharamsala on Thursday.

After a horrendous start to the season, RCB have managed to claw their way back into the tournament. They have the winning momentum on their side, having won their last three games comprehensively.

The wins have not only boosted their sagging morale but also taken them to the seventh spot in the points table.

With eight points from 11 games, RCB can still make the playoffs if they win all their remaining three fixtures although the chances are slim.

Punjab Kings too stare at a similar situation. They occupy the eighth spot, having collected eight points from 11 games.

However, between the two — only one team can reach the all-important 14 point mark.

Having beaten PBKS earlier in the season and heading into this clash with three wins on the trot, RCB will feel more confident than the hosts.

Virat Kohli remains consistent at the top, while skipper Faf du Plessis broke his string of poor scores with a belligerent knock in the last game.

Will Jacks also impressed with a match-winning century against GT, and Cameron Green showcased his all-round skills with crucial contributions in runs and wickets against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Their bowling department has started clicking with Mohammed Siraj, who is in India’s T20 World Cup squad, finally finding his rhythm.

Yash Dayal and Vijaykumar Vyshak also did well against GT and RCB will expect them to continue in the same vein.

PBKS, on the other hand, will be low on confidence having suffered an inexplicable batting collapse against Chennai Super Kings.

The Kings showcased their very best and worst against CSK. Their bowlers were all over the CSK batters but the batting unit choked.

It was an example of how Punjab’s season has been this year — unpredictable.

They have showcased their potential with away wins over Kolkata Knight Riders, when they recorded the highest successful run chase in T20 cricket, and CSK.

However, they have faced difficulties getting the job done at home. They won just one out of five games in Mullanpur, their main home ground.

A change in venue to the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium also didn’t go their way in the previous game here.

The team would hope to end its home run on a high but for that to happen, the PBKS unit has to fire in unison.

Squads:

Punjab Kings: Sam Curran (c), Matthew Short, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Prabhsimran Singh (wk), Jitesh Sharma (wk), Sikandar Raza, Rishi Dhawan, Liam Livingstone, Atharva Taide, Arshdeep Singh, Nathan Ellis, Kagiso Rabada, Harpreet Brar , Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Bhatia, Vidwath Kaverappa, Shivam Singh, Harshal Patel, Chris Woakes, Ashutosh Sharma, Vishwanath Pratap Singh, Shashank Singh, Tanay Thyagarajan, Choudhary, Rilee Rossouw.

Royal Challengers Bengaluru: Faf du Plessis (c), Glenn Maxwell, Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Anuj Rawat, Dinesh Karthik, Suyash Prabhudessai, Will Jacks, Mahipal Lomror, Karn Sharma, Manoj Bhandage, Mayank Dagar, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Akash Deep, Mohammed Siraj, Reece Topley, Himanshu Sharma, Rajan Kumar, Cameron Green, Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal, Tom Curran, Lockie Ferguson, Swapnil Singh, Saurav Chauhan.

Match starts 7.30 pm IST.

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