Punjab Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

Today is the 27th match of IPL 16 series, today match will be played between Punjab Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium, Mohali.

Punjab Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, 27th Match

Punjab Kings are sweating over the fitness of their captain Shikhar Dhawan and star allrounder Liam Livingstone as they return for a short trip home, in Mohali, to host plucky Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday( April 20). Ruled out of their thrilling two- wicket win in Lucknow with a shoulder injury, the 37- year-old Dhawan would be pleased with several unlikely heroes putting their hand up against LSG as they snapped their two- match losing streak.

Punjab Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
Punjab Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

PBKS may have three wins in five outings thus far, but are still looking to sustain the winning momentum. They kicked off their season with two wins on the trot but then went on to concede the next two. Part of the problem is personnel While Livingstone is yet to play a game, sidelined yet again by a niggle( sustained during practice ahead of the Lucknow fixture), Kagiso Rabada has only just joined the side for the last two games. To add to that, Dhawan’s injury now comes as a fresh blow for a side ailed by batting inconsistency.

He could not make a difference with the bat but Sam Curran led from the front in the bowling department, while the team found a new batting hero in Sikander Raza against LSG. Most pleasing though, would be the runs from the bat of their designated finisher Shahrukh Khan who had been backed despite an ordinary last season. The Tamil Nadu batter provided the finishing touches in his typical style to guide PBKS home at the Ekana Stadium and the team would be hoping this is only the beginning.

Curran, Arshdeep Singh and Kagiso Rabada have led the bowling superbly, making the PBKS attack one to watch out for. On the contrary, RCB’s bowling- especially at death- has come in the spotlight once again. Mohammed Siraj has been a standout performer, but RCB has more often than not been guilty of oohing far too many runs at the back end of the innings- the short boundaries of their home ground incompletely being a part of the reason.

That said, RCB have perhaps one of the most potent opening pairs in their current and former captain respectively– Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli– to be followed by the destructive Glenn Maxwell. On the back of a last-over loss to the Chennai Super Kings, the fact that they almost chased down a record target is a testament to their fur depth. Maxwell and du Plessis kept them in the hunt, and the encouraging signs, even in defeat, was Dinesh Karthik’s return to form and the rediscovery of his finishing prowess. Add to that the batting of their impact sub Suyash Prabhudesai, who dragged the game to the penultimate ball in a mammoth 227- run chase, and it’s a batting line- up unlike any other.

Like PBKS, RCB too are seeking consistency in their campaign. They’re currently languishing at the eighth spot in the points table, with just two victories in five games, but have been on the wrong side of a couple of results that could have gone either way

Team news

It remains to be seen whether Shikhar Dhawan is fit enough to play, after he underwent a fitness test in Kings’ training session on Wednesday afternoon. “I don’t know how bad it is, but hopefully it’s not too long,” Curran, who deputised as captain, said at the toss before their victory in Lucknow.

Liam Livingstone arrived in India over a week ago but is yet to feature for Kings after straining a muscle – understood to be his hamstring – while batting in the nets. A cryptic recent Instagram post featuring crossed fingers and praying hands suggests he is hoping to be available soon. It is understood that he has recovered and could be in contention to play on Thursday.

Josh Hazlewood has arrived in India but is still completing his rehabilitation and appears unlikely to feature at this stage. Wayne Parnell looks set to continue as their overseas seam option in his absence, though David Willey is a compelling alternative.

Kings’ balance will depend on whether Dhawan is fit, and therefore whether or not they feel the need to cover his absence with an additional domestic batter. Livingstone, if fit, would represent a like-for-like swap with Sikandar Raza – though there is a chance that both play and Matthew Short drops out. Raza was named Player of the Match in their last game, picking a wicket and scoring a 41-ball 57. If Kings bat first, Prabhsimran Singh will likely start and be substituted by Rahul Chahar, and vice versa if they bowl first.

RCB have a decision to make on Vijaykumar Vyshak, who impressed on debut against Delhi Capitals but had a rough outing against Chennai Super Kings. If they choose to leave him out, they may return to Akash Deep. Suyash Prabhudessai’s cameo will earn him a run in the middle order, and he is likely to be involved in their Impact Player switch, either replacing or being replaced by a domestic bowler.


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