Royal Challengers Bangalore would not like to have any further hiccups in order to get a grip on the play-off stage when they host Kings XI Punjab on Tuesday. (BCCI Images)
Bangalore: There was a stage where Royal Challengers Bangalore won seven games in a row but they are now in a high pressure situation as they simply need to win their game against Kings XI Punjab to avoid any last minute jitters. Four defeats in their last six games have made matters a little dicey for Virat Kohli and Co.
Bangalore are tied with Sunrisers Hyderabad with 16 points, although with a better run-rate. A lot will depend on how the home team fares out in their favourite hunting ground.
The last time the two sides met, David Miller took the game away with the innings of a lifetime. The same would be expected out of him heading into the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Skipper Adam Gilchrist has made a return into the playing XI and has been getting starts, which need to be converted into big scores. Punjab's batting has not lived up to it's potential barring Miller.
Mandeep Singh, after a good start to the season, has lost his way and a lot would be expected from the likes of David Hussey, Shaun Marsh and Luke Pomersbach as they seem to be hitting the ball well. In the last game against Hyderabad they could not accelerate when it was needed and finished on 120 for 9 chasing 152.
A lot will be expected of Gilchrist's bowling department spearheaded by Praveen Kumar. MS Gony's exclusion against Hyderabad was a surprise. However, he is expected to be back in action after their bowlers were unimpressive against a timid Hyderabad batting line-up. Parvinder Awana will look to get among the wickets and Sandeep Sharma would like to continue the good work from the previous game with figures of 3 for 21.
Bangalore will fancy their chances mainly due to their impressive record at home. Their batting can instill fear on any batting line up with the likes of the devastating Chris Gayle, Kohli and AB de Villiers. Kohli, who smashed a brilliant 99 against Delhi Daredevils, missed out in the game against Kolkata Knight Riders and would be looking forward to making amends.
RCB are one of the few sides this tournament who have a good combination of batsmen and bowlers. Ravi Rampaul has been in excellent form picking up wickets and Vinay Kumar's performance has bagged him a place in India's ICC Champions Trophy squad. Kumar is also third in the leading wicket-takers list.
Punjab, who have managed just 10 points from 13 games, might well be out of the tournament but it will not leave any room for further errors and look to make things difficult for RCB.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Cheteshwar Pujara 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 AB de Villiers (wk), 5 Saurabh Tiwary, 6 Moises Henriques, 7 Ravi Rampaul, 8 Murali Kartik, 9 Abhimanyu Mithun, 10 Vinay Kumar, 11 Jaydev Unadkat
Kings XI Punjab: 1 Adam Gilchrist (capt/wk), 2 Mandeep Singh, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Luke Pomersbach, 5 David Miller, 6 Rajagopal Sathish, 7 Harmeet Singh, 8 Piyush Chawla, 9 Parvinder Awana, 10 Praveen Kumar, 11 Sandeep Sharma