Royal Challengers face tough task
Bangalore Royal Challengers will have a tough task when they face in-form Kings XI Punjab in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match here Monday.
After two initial losses, Kings XI are on a roll and with four wins in a row are fourth in the IPL standings.
For Royal Challengers, it has been a tough road as they have lost four matches while pocketing only two wins and are lying at the sixth place with just four points. They managed a thrilling three-run victory against Deccan Chargers Saturday and that will boost their confidence for Monday’s tie.
The Punjab team, however, have improved as the league progressed and their star-batting line-up led by skipper Yuvraj Singh has delivered.
Their foreign imports - Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawerdene, Simon Katich, and Shaun Marsh - have all chipped in with useful contributions and it will be a challenge for Challengers’ bowling attack to contain these in-form batsmen.
Kings XI bowling attack, too, has come up with good performances. Irfan Pathan and V.R.V Singh have given crucial breakthroughs to the team while S. Sreesanth bowled with pace.
Three of the four wins of the Kings XI have come on their home turf in Mohali where their pace attack has taken full advantage of the bouncy track.
Royal Challengers, on the other hand, are still not able to cope with their batting blues. Their batsmen have not clicked, as skipper Rahul Dravid would have liked them to. The top-order have faltered and even when they have laid a good foundation, the middle and lower order squandered the advantage.
Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher, and Misbah Ul-Haq will have to fire together. The Challengers bowling attack is in better shape with veteran Anil Kumble and South African pacer Dale Steyn joining the team.
Bangalore Royal Challengers: Rahul Dravid (captain), Abdur Razzak, Balachandra Akhil, KP Appanna, Jagadeesh Arunkumar, Praveen Kumar, Devraj Patil, Vinay Kumar, Mark Boucher (wicket-keeper), Nathan Bracken, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Bharat Chipli, Shreevats Goswami (wk), Anil Kumble, Dale Steyn, Cameron White, Wasim Jaffer, Sunil Joshi, Jacques Kallis, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Misbah-ul-Haq, Ross Taylor
Kings XI Punjab: Yuvraj Singh (captain), Ajitesh Argal, Piyush Chawla, Pankaj Dharmani, Rishi Dhawan, Irfan Pathan, Nitin Saini, VRV Singh, Tanmay Srivastava, Karan Goel, James Hopes, Mahela Jayawardene, Simon Katich, Uday Kaul, Luke Pomersbach, Kumar Sangakkara (wicket-keeper) Sunny Sohal, Sahil Kukreja, Brett Lee, Shaun Marsh, Kyle Mills, Wilkin Mota, Ramesh Powar, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shanthakumaran Sreesanth.