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KXIP vs RCB: Virat Kohli and Co look to halt losing streak against Kings XI Punjab

So far, Murphy’s Law has applied to Bangalore, and almost everything has been in a downward spiral.

cricket Updated: Apr 13, 2019 16:44 IST
Shalini Gupta
Shalini Gupta
Hindustan Times, Mohali
KXIP vs RCB,Virat Kohli,Kings XI Punjab
Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) Virat Kohli reacts after missing a shot.(PTI)

Stranger things have happened in cricket, but Virat Kohli is in town, and there’s no sense of excitement or anticipation around his team. Royal Challengers Bangalore are down six out of six, sitting virtually at the exit doors, and Kings XI Punjab will be aware of the opportunity here. They knock down RCB, get two points and then get a foothold in the race to top four.

So far, Murphy’s Law has applied to Bangalore, and almost everything has been in a downward spiral. Yet, there are signs of revival; Kohli has started looking good, if not intimidating yet, and if AB de Villiers could lift his game, they could get RCB back on track.

“We have been bowling well till 16 overs and then leaking the bulk of runs in the death overs. We need to work on this and make amends now,” RCB leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal told a press conference on Friday. “We have had good bowling combinations in the past seasons but this year we have lacked self-confidence. We need to back ourselves more.”

Kohli’s team is coming here after a short break, which Chahal felt could work in their favour as the players can shake off the effect of defeats: “It was good to have such a break. We have discussed about some areas where we have faltered. We would like to cash in on this time off and look for a win against Kings XI Punjab.”

Ashwin’s team have looked promising, and though they lost to Mumbai Indians in a last-ball thriller, they have been near invincible at their home in the PCA Stadium. They would be hoping to sustain the winning run here to remain in the fray for the playoffs.

They have beaten Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad in Mohali as conditions here suit their stroke players. With KL Rahul and Chris Gayle looking good, the hosts would be hoping to field opener Mayank Agarwal, who missed out against Mumbai Indians due to an injury. Gayle has some concerns due to a bad back, but Ashwin would want the Jamaican to be fit and turn up to play on Saturday.

Steyn for Coulter-Nile

Seasoned Proteas pacer Dale Steyn has replaced injured Aussie counterpart Nathan Coulter-Nile in the RCB squad for the rest of the IPL season. Steyn has featured in nine IPL editions and was with RCB from 2008 to 2010. The 35-year-old went unsold at the auction but will now be available to play an IPL game after a two-year gap. He last played in the league for Gujarat Lions, in IPL 2016. He will be available after April 16.

First Published: Apr 13, 2019 16:40 IST