Out-of-form Punjab will face high-flying Bangalore in Indian T20 League tonight. Bangalore are sitting at the second spot in the table with 5 wins and Punjab gained just 4 points from their 6 games.
Match Timings: April 30, 7:30 PM IST
Bangalore and Punjab will face each other in the last game of this month. Both sides had a reverse story compared to each other. Bangalore now have five wins out of six, while Punjab won just two out of six. The points-table game will be interesting as both sides will end their first half of the season tonight.
Punjab defeated Mumbai with ease but they didn’t carry it forward in the next game. Their batting unit failed for the third time in just outings and for each outing, their average score was around 120 which shows their poor batting. Punjab’s batting relies on its top-order only and if they get out early, they find themselves in deep trouble. Chris Jordan played a quick cameo of 18-balls 30 to get them past 120. The Bowling unit showed some positive intent in the previous few games but they require some collective efforts on the field. Kolkata was even struggling at 17/3 in powerplay but Punjab had a modest total to defend so they couldn’t fight more. Pooran has been inconsistent and Punjab has to look at Dawid Malan as the replacement who would be the great pick in middle-order. Backing a player is good but you cannot take it long. Chris Jordan had a decent outing and it was better than the Australian pacers. Changes are expected and Malan can make his debut in Indian T20 League tonight.
Meanwhile, Bangalore is having a dream season so far and it’s a surprising story of 2021. They edged past in-form Delhi by one run, thanks to a tight over from Siraj who has improved his bowing skills so well. ABD came to rescue his side one time with another cracking knock but Bangalore has to solve this. Individual performance are winning matches for Bangalore and fortunately, it’s showing better results for them but sometimes, strength gets converted into a weakness if they rely on one player a lot.
With 10 points, they are in a safe position and the playoffs are safe as they need to win at least three more games from the remaining eight which should be a cakewalk for them. Kohli would look to extend this winning run and finish in top-two this time. This season is a replica of 2011 when both Chennai and Bangalore ruled the season. Bangalore included Daniel Sams but he wasn’t effective. Kohli would avoid any change to the side. The Bowling unit is doing very well and this is the big reason behind the success of Bangalore. Harshal Patel bagged 17 wickets so far and pretty effective in death, while Siraj is taking charge with the new ball and he is even bowling very well in death as well like we saw in the previous game.
Punjab has the edge over Bangalore as they thrashed Bangalore twice in 2020. We saw a carnage from KL Rahul who scored Indian T20 League’s 3rd highest individual score with 132. In the last five games, Bangalore has won three games and they are favourites now considering their good form.
Motera’s track is good for batting and we can expect a high-scoring thriller tonight. Pacers can trouble with the new ball. Chasing would be an ideal call after winning the toss and it requires a sensible approach from middle-order. 170-180 would be a competitive score in the first innings.
KL Rahul (c & wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Deepak Hooda, Nicholas Pooran/Dawid Malan, Moises Henriques, Shahrukh Khan, Chris Jordan, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh
Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers (wk), Washington Sundar, Daniel Sams, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj
240 runs at an avg of 48, top-scorer for his side
Effective pacer in death, 7 wickets so far at an avg of 21.43
Top-scorer of Bangalore, 204 runs at an avg of 68
17 wickets so far, purple cap holder