It wasn’t a very good start to IPL 2018 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, who lost to Kolkata Knight Riders. They continued from where they left off last year – finding ways to lose games. On the other hand, Punjab started their IPL 2018 campaign on a winning note, beating the Delhi Daredevils quite comprehensively.
There’s not much to say about the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Let me introduce you to their top four batsmen – Quinton de Kock, Brendon McCullum, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. However, that’s all that there is too it because they just have the likes of local boys Sarfaraz, Mandeep and Washington Sundar. If two in the top four click, they are in with a chance. Or else, they can keep losing, like they’ve been doing since last season.
Now let’s look at the Punjab team. They may not have as many match winners or big stars as RCB, but they have a more balanced side. I feel that their opening batsmen can be very dangerous. In the last game, KL Rahul registered the fastest ever fifty in the history of the Indian Premier League while his partner Mayank Agarwal is in prime form. In case they fail, Nair, Stoinis and Miller are there to cover up. However, Aaron Finch will be returning after getting married, which means one of Stoinis or Miller will face the axe!
I’m not a fan of either team’s bowling line-up. Apart from Yuzvendra Chahal, RCB have not attacking option, while Punjab have two, in the form of Mujeeb Zadran and Andrew Tye. Tye had a brilliant IPL 2017, while Mujeeb is that 17-year old who kept the massive Chris Gayle out of the last game. His 2/28 in that game means he will keep his place.
I love the Bangalore outfit led by my hero Virat Kohli, but unless one of them is out there till the 17th-18th over, I don’t see RCB’s fortunes changing. They come out, play their strokes and somehow, they all get dismissed by the 10th over. I’m expecting Mujeeb to open the bowling again for KXIP and try and dismiss a couple of those top four batsmen.
My tips have gone well so far in IPL 2018, having just got one match wrong so far. I’m going to go with my team and back Royal Challengers Bangalore to win this match as they aren’t up against the toughest opposition and they even have the home advantage in their favour!