The Kings XI Punjab would need re-focusing after they endured a tough loss to Delhi Capitals in their opening game of 2020 Indian Premier League. When an umpiring error potentially cost them the game during the final stages of the chase, the match went to the Super Over where the side was bowled out on 2. The game followed significant criticism of the umpiring standards and KXIP even launched an appeal over the decision.
On-field umpire Nitin Menon had called a short run during the 19th over of the game, believing that Chris Jordan hadn't landed the bat at the striker's end before taking off for a second run. While the replays showed the opposite, the decision was not overturned.
However, the squad would aim to put the controversy behind and start afresh when it takes on the inspired Royal Challengers Bangalore, who enjoyed a victory on the opening day of their campaign. RCB had beaten familiar foes Sunrisers Hyderabad by 10 runs, defending a 164-run target.
It was quite a comeback for RCB, who were staring at a certain defeat at one point -- thanks to partnerships between Jonny Bairstow and Manish Pandey, then Bairstow and Priyam Garg. It went downhill for Sunrisers in Yuzvendra Chahal's final over, where Bairstow decided to take on the leg-spinner and threw his wicket away. The dismissal triggered a monumental collapse as SRH lost seven wicket within 32 runs.
Despite the win, however, RCB captain Virat Kohli will be aiming to fine-tune certain aspects of the side, including their batting in the final overs and the bowling department, which looked aimless when Bairstow hit the attacking mode in the first match.
One of the biggest positives for RCB from their opening game was the emergence of youngster Devdutt Padikkal, who scored a brilliant 56 off 42 deliveries. It was an exhibition on clean-hitting as Australia's limited-overs captain Aaron Finch, his opening partner, chose to play second-fiddle to the 20-year-old. RCB will be expecting more of the same from Finch's bat too, though, who never looked settled in his 27-ball 29 run knock.
Virat Kohli was dismissed early in the innings but it is only a matter of time before he gets into the groove. AB de Villiers stepped up in Virat's failure, but the finishing remains a concern with Chris Morris still unavailable, and the likes of Shivam Dube and Josh Philippe remaining fairly untested.
KXIP, meanwhile, will have work to do on their batting order which failed miserably in their opening game against DC. The trio of Karun Nair, Nicholas Pooran and Glenn Maxwell (no. 3-5 in batting order) scored a combined total of 2 runs against the Capitals, while Sarfaraz Khan, too, could only score 12. If not for Mayank Agarwal's heroics, KXIP could have conceded an embarrassing defeat in the game.
It would be interesting to see if KL Rahul is tempted to make changes in the side, which boasts of power-hitter Chris Gayle in the batting order and lethal spinner Mujeeb ur Rahman. Chris Jordan's performance was significantly underwhelming as he registered his name in record books for the most expensive final over of the innings in the league's history.
Barring Jordan's disastrous final over, the bowling lineup was majorly impressive with Mohammed Shami and Ravi Bishnoi conceding less-than six rpo. Dubai's pitches aren't exactly a batting paradise, and assistance to spin could be key to some of the major changes KL Rahul may have to make in the side.
Royal Challengers Bangalore Squad: Devdutt Padikkal, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli(c), AB de Villiers, Shivam Dube, Josh Philippe(w), Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, Umesh Yadav, Dale Steyn, Yuzvendra Chahal, Parthiv Patel, Isuru Udana, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Chris Morris, Adam Zampa, Pavan Deshpande, Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Ahmed
Kings XI Punjab Squad: Lokesh Rahul(w/c), Mayank Agarwal, Karun Nair, Nicholas Pooran, Glenn Maxwell, Sarfaraz Khan, Krishnappa Gowtham, Chris Jordan, Mohammed Shami, Sheldon Cottrell, Ravi Bishnoi, Chris Gayle, Mandeep Singh, Murugan Ashwin, James Neesham, Deepak Hooda, Hardus Viljoen, Jagadeesha Suchith, Ishan Porel, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Tajinder Singh, Darshan Nalkande, Arshdeep Singh, Simran Singh, Harpreet Brar