Match 63 Preview: Can Kings XI stay alive, defusing Gayle!!

Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kings XI Punjab have already met before in the tournament. The Gayle-force that swamped Kings XI before is still at large. Eyeing the Points Table Kings XI can not relax, while RCB having alraedy qualified can test their bench strength.

Fight for Orange Cap: Valthaty vs Gayle

History
Both have played 7 matches so far against each other till 4th edition. While Kings XI Punjab won the first three, RCB has been winning the last 4 matches, including a 10-wicket win.

Last Match
In the last match at Bangalore, Gayle attacked with a century to take RCB to their highest-ever IPL total. While defending Aravind came up with his best bowling performance. Both joined hands to thump Kings XI.

2011 Performances
RCB has seized the losing streak of 3 consecutive losses, after winnning the first game against Kochi Tuskers. In the second match they were thumped by Mumbai Indians. Then failed to chase high target against Deccan Chargers, and lost without fight against Chennai Super Kings. After the washed-out match against Rajasthan Royals, Gayle-force thwarted the strong Knight Riders. The top-order ensured another smooth victory against Pune Warriors. Gayle’s record century and all-round performance ensured another thumping win against Kings XI in the last match. Gayle’s record blast helped another easy victory against Kochi Tuskers. They thumped Rajasthan Royals at Jaipur and after defeating KKR are now on a record 7-match winning streak.

Kings XI, initially appearing the weakest team, shot into prominence with big wins. They first surprised 2010 champtions Chennai Super Kings at home, and then defeated 2009 champions Deccan Chargers. They earlier lost to Pune Warriors. Continuing their inspirational form, Kings XI humiliated Royals. The match against Delhi Daredevils saw their unsuccessful chase in the high-scoring match. In the last match at Eden KKR handed them heavy defeat. They faced crushing defeat against MI, while in Bangalore Gayle’s record century and all-round performance knocked them out of Chinnaswamy. Pune Warriors thumped them in same fashion again. They scored crushing win over then group topper Mumbai Indians bundling them for one of the lowest IPL score, and made Munaf Patel the only bowler to have registered one of the best bowling performance in the lost cause. After defeating Kochi Tuskers again and avenging defeat against Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI are on a 3-match winning streak.

Player’s Performance in 2011
RCB Player’s performance index indicate 53 wickets for bowlers in 12 matches, one of which was washed out. Gayle’s conssitent run saw him wearing the Orange Cap after his 7th match, which he lost next day to valthaty. Kohli accompanies him in 400-club, while AB de Villiers and Saurabh Tiwary have 100-plus total.

Kings XI player performance index indicates how dependent they are on Valthaty and Marsh. Valthay retained the Orange Cap. Marsh is following him in 400-club, while Gilchrist and Karthik are in 200-club.. But no 5th batsman approaching 100 is a sign of worry for them. Overall their bowling has improved taking 64 wickets in 12 matches.

Head-to-Head: RCB 4, KXIP 3
2008

    Kings XI def RCB by 6 Wickets
    Kings XI def RCB by 9 Wickets

2009

    Kings XI def RCB by 7 Wickets
    RCB def Kings XI by 8 Runs

2010

    RCB def Kings XI by 10 Wickets
    RCB def Kings XI by 6 Wickets

2011

    RCB def Kings XI by 85 runs

Who Will Win Today!!
Both are on a roll. RCB has record 7-match winning streak, while Kings XI have won 3, including a thumping victory against Mumbai Indians. RCB won against DD in the last match, but it also showed their dependency on Gayle. Kings XI must win remaining 2-matches. They have been impressive at Dharamsala. Their mantra will be to get Gayle early, and win the match. But can Gayle stop!! Probably not, the way he is batting. That makes RCB the favorite and Kings XI may be seeing the end of the tunnel after this match.

Key Battles
Gayle vs Chawla/Harris/Praveen
Gayle is the key for RCB. He has been unstoppable so far. Praveen has helped Kings XI get early breakthrough. The contest would be interesting and key to the match. Harris is improving and holds the key to stop Gayle and later Kohli and AB de Villiers. Piyush Chwala is enjoying the venue the most. He may be the most dangerous man for Gayle, unless by the time he comes to bowl Gayle has rushed to a high score.

Valthaty/Marsh/Gilchrist vs Aravind and Co
Valthaty and Marsh are in good form. Specially Marsh looks the most dangerous in Kings XI team. Aravind has been picking wickets regularly. He is the key bowler for RCB now, ahead of Zaheer Khan. If Kings XI chase a target, RCB may find it tough to contain them considering joint failure of their bowlers, unless Gayle decides to take wickets too.

Kings XI Squad
Batsman: Adam Gilchrist (Captain/Keeper), Shaun Marsh, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Vikramjeet Malik, Nitin Saini
Allrounders: David Hussey, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Mandeep Singh
Bowlers: Stuart Broad, Ryan Harris, Ryan McLaren, Nathan Rimmington, Love Ablish, Praveen Kumar, Amit Yadav, Bhargav Bhatt, Bipul Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Siddharth Chitnis, Paras Dogra, Shalabh Srivastava, Sunny Singh, Paul Valthaty

Royal Challengers Bangalore Squad
Batsman: AB de Villiers (WK), Luke Pomersbach, Rilee Rossouw, Saurabh Tiwary, Mayank Agarwal, Muralidharen Gautam, Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli, Asad Pathan, Cheteshwar Pujara
Allrounder: Daniel Vettori (Captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Jonathan Vandiar
Bowlers: Dirk Nannes, Charl Langeveldt, Johan van der Wath, Zaheer Khan, Sreenath Aravind, Arun Karthik, BN Bharath, Raju Bhatkal, Nuwan Pradeep, Abrar Kazi, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ryan Ninan

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