Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 14 May 2013 - 12:31am IST
Preview : Match 63 – RCB vs KXIP
Will home advantage continue to sway RCB’s way?
Playoffs contenders Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab lock horns in Match 63 of the Pepsi IPL 2013. While RCB found the going difficult on a sluggish surface at Ranchi – losing to KKR by five wickets, KXIP let slip their home match against Sunrisers Hyderabad after they failed to chase down 150 and lost by 30
Royal Challengers Bangalore certainly start favourites in this match for they will be back in the familiar surrounds of their home ground where they have won all their six matches so far. Since their last outing at home, RCB have won only two of their six matches on the road.
Kings XI Punjab are barely alive in the race for the Pepsi IPL 2013 Playoffs. Even if they win all their remaining matches, they can only get to 16 points. Given there are already five teams with 16 points or more in the standings, KXIP need to get to 16 points and hope for other results to go their way to finish the league among the top four teams.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 4 p.m
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
On perhaps the best surface in the competition the focus will surely be on the batsmen in both teams. If it is Bengaluru and Kings XI Punjab, look out for Chris Gayle. Something gets RCB’s Chris Gayle going almost always when the opponents are KXIP or when the venue is Bengaluru. In five innings against KXIP, the Jamaican has scored 50 or more on four occasions (one of which was a century). In 17 innings at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium (in RCB colours), the Jamaican has hit 76 sixes and scored 934 runs at a strike-rate of 176. Also keep an eye out on the RCB skipper Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers who are among the best finishers in the game currently.
With the kind of form he has been in recent times – and given his exploits against RCB when these two teams met the last time around, focus will be on David Miller. Since that match-winning century against RCB, the South African has scored eight and six and he will be itching to get back among the runs. KXIP also need skipper Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh to fire too.
Kings XI Punjab will clearly be feeling confident heading into this match for they have not only won their last two matches against Royal Challengers Bangalore but also hold a 6-5 win-loss record against their opponents.
In the most recent contest between the two teams at Mohali, RCB did well to post 190 for three riding on half-centuries by Cheteshwar Pujara and Chris Gayle before being blown away by David Miller’s 38-ball century.
The average first innings total in matches at Bengaluru this season is 167. In the previous match at Bengaluru, Chris Gayle stormed his way into the record books with an unbeaten 175 and powered his team to 263 – the highest-ever total in T20 cricket.
Chris Gayle needs 32 more runs to score 1000 runs at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. CSK’s Suresh Raina is currently the only player to score more than 1000 runs at one particular venue; he has scored 1158 runs at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Royal Challengers Bangalore will wind up their league fixtures with a home tie against Chennai Super Kings on May 18. Kings XI Punjab will meanwhile head to their adopted home – Dharamsala – to host the Delhi Daredevils on May 16.