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IPL 2022, RCB vs PBKS: Riding high on momentum, Royal Challengers Bangalore could be too strong for inconsistent Punjab Kings

By PTI

MUMBAI: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), who have found much-needed momentum towards the business end of IPL, will back themselves to ride past an inconsistent Punjab Kings (PBKS) and get closer to a playoff spot here on Friday.

Having put up complete performances in their last two games, RCB seemed to have figured out their best combination.

Barring Virat Kohli, all of their batters are in top form with uncapped Rajat Patidar and Mahipal Lomror complementing seasoned pros like skipper Faf du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik, who has been among the best finishers in the tournament alongside Gujarat's Rahul Tewatia.

The bowling packs a punch too in the presence of in-form pacers Josh Hazlewood and the ever-reliable Harshal Patel. Mohammad Siraj has not been at his best but trust him to deliver when the team wants it the most.

Maxwell has been handy with his off-spin, both in powerplay and middle overs, while Wanindu Hasaranga is among the leading wicket-takers in the tournament with 21 scalps including a five-wicket haul.

"What we are trying to get better as a team is making sure that one of those top-four creates a bit of a base. We have got some really strong hitters at the back. "The games where we didn't do so well, there was a big cluster of wickets in the powerplay. Obviously need some stability but at the same time you gonna make sure you don't go into defensive mode," said du Plessis after the massive win over SRH.

Kohli, who is in the middle of his worst IPL season, is due for an impact knock and that could come against Punjab. A win on Friday would take RCB to 16 points though 18 seems to be a safe number for a play-off berth.

Punjab, who have three games left, need to win all to have a shot at the top-four finish. They had started their campaign with a win over RCB and are on 10 points with five wins and six losses.

The fact that they have not been able to win two games in a row sums up their inconsistent run.

Shikhar Dhawan and Bhanuka Rajapaksa have delivered at the top, so has Liam Livingstone and Jitesh Sharma in finishing the innings. Jonny Bairstow finally got runs after being promoted to open the innings alongside Dhawan.

Skipper Mayank Agarwal, who has moved himself down the order, needs to lead from the front.

On the bowling front, Sandeep Sharma has been tidy but could do with some wickets in the powerplay. Lead pacer Kagiso Rabada has done well to take 18 wickets but has gone for close to 9 runs per over.

Arshdeep Singh has been brilliant, especially in the death overs, and has impressed many with his ability to land yorkers at will.

Despite a solid squad at their disposal, Punjab have flattered to deceive and they must raise their game before it is too late yet again.

SQUADS

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Faf du Plessis (C), Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Karthik, Josh Hazlewood, Shahbaz Ahmed, Anuj Rawat, Akash Deep, Mahipal Lomror, Finn Allen, Sherfane Rutherford, Jason Behrendorff, Suyash Prabhudesai, Chama Milind, Aneeshwar Gautam, Karn Sharma, David Willey, Rajat Patidar, Siddharth Kaul

Punjab Kings: Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal (C), Arshdeep Singh, Kagiso Rabada, Jonny Bairstow, Rahul Chahar, Harpreet Brar, Shahrukh Khan, Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Ishan Porel, Liam Livingstone, Odean Smith, Sandeep Sharma, Raj Angad Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Prerak Mankad, Vaibhav Arora, Writtick Chatterjee, Baltej Dhanda, Ansh Patel, Nathan Ellis, Atharva Taide, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Benny Howell

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Dive Deeper:
IPL 2022 | Riding high on momentum, Bangalore could be too strong for inconsistent Punjab
Royal Challengers Bangalore will back themselves to ride past Punjab Kings and get closer to play-off.
IPL 2022, Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Punjab Kings Highlights: PBKS crush RCB by 54 runs to keep play-off hopes alive
MUMBAI: Punjab Kings buried Royal Challengers Bangalore under a deluge of runs as they kept their play-off hopes alive with…
IPL 2022: Royal Challengers Bangalore win toss, elect to bowl against Punjab Kings
MUMBAI: Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Faf du Plessis won the toss and opted to bowl against Punjab Kings in their…
IPL 2022, RCB vs PBKS: Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone fifties set up Punjab Kings’ clinical 54-run win over Royal Challengers Bangalore
Before coming out to bat against Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Brabourne stadium in Mumbai on Friday night, Jonny Bairstow…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
IPL 2022, RCB vs PBKS: Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Punjab Kings as the race to playoffs intensifies
Just like it takes a whole orchestra to play a symphony, the success of a team is driven by team…
IPL 2022: Brilliant Bairstow, flamboyant Livingstone take Punjab Kings to 209 for 9
MUMBAI: Jonny Bairstow's opening blitzkrieg found its ideal match in Liam Livingstone's finishing carnage as Punjab Kings put up an…
Get all your news in one place