RCB will try to get closer to the playoffs with a win over Punjab

Mumbai, May 12 (PTI) Finding the right pace in time, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) cruised closer to the playoffs in the Indian Premier League (IPL) by registering a win over their so far fluctuating Punjab Kings here on Friday. Will try

RCB have done exceptionally well in the last two matches and it seems that they have found their proper combination.

Barring Virat Kohli, all the RCB batsmen are in excellent form. Rajat Patidar and Mahipal Lomror are also doing well in the form of captain Faf du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik.

Kohli hasn’t had a good IPL season so far but he will look to make up for it against Punjab.

RCB’s bowlers have also been consistently performing well, including the in-form Josh Hazlewood and the reliable Harshal Patel. Mohammad Siraj is not in his best form but the team can expect him to perform well at crucial times.

Maxwell has proved useful with his off-spin in the powerplays and the middle overs while Wanindu Hasaranga has so far taken 21 wickets, including five in a match.

If RCB beat Punjab, they will have 16 points, although 18 points is considered a safe number to reach the playoffs.

As far as Punjab is concerned, they will have to win their remaining three matches to make it to the top four team. They beat RCB in their first match but are now on 10 points from five wins. He has lost six matches.

There is a lack of consistency in the Punjab team and that is the reason why they have not been able to win two matches in a row.

Shikhar Dhawan and Bhanuka Rajapakse are contributing well in the top order while Liam Livingstone and Jitesh Sharma are finishing the innings well. Jonny Bairstow’s return to form is good news for Punjab.

Captain Mayank Agarwal has decided to enter the middle order but he needs to lead from the front.

In the bowling, Kagiso Rabada has taken 18 wickets so far but he has proved to be expensive. Sandeep Sharma has the ability to take wickets in the powerplay. Arshdeep Singh has bowled impressively, especially in the death overs where he troubled the batsmen with his precise yorkers.

Despite having good players in the team, Punjab team falls apart at crucial times in which it has to improve as soon as possible.

The teams are as follows:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Faf du Plessis (captain), Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell, Mohammad 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, Anishwar 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, Shah Rukh Khan, Prabhsimran Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Ishan Porel, Liam Livingstone, Odeon Smith, Sandeep Sharma, Raj Angad Bawa, Rishi Dhawan, Prerak Mankad, Vaibhav Arora, Hrithik Chatterjee, Baltej Dhanda, Ansh Patel, Nathan Ellis, Atharva Taede, Bhanuka Rajapakse, Benny Howell.

The match will start at 7:30 PM IST.