The Punjab Kings will lock horns with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Match 60 of IPL 2022 at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on May 13 (Friday). After their six-wicket defeat to the northern rivals Rajasthan Royals last weekend, PBKS must ensure that they cannot afford any more losses in their remaining fixtures if they are to keep their playoffs hopes alive.
Meanwhile, Punjab would be hoping to do the double over Bangalore after having got the better of them by five wickets in the reverse fixture. However, they need to be wary of RCB’s rise to form with back-to-back impressive wins over the defending champions Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad respectively.
Despite their loss against the Royals, Punjab Kings would not be keen on making any changes to their playing XI and would rather field the same players for the next fixture.
Here’s a look at the Punjab Kings predicted playing XI against RCB:
Openers: Shikhar Dhawan and Jonny Bairstow
Shikhar Dhawan might have flopped in the last game but the senior batter has so far amassed 381 runs from 11 matches and has been really good with the bat. He has also registered three half-centuries to his name with his highest score being an unbeaten 88. With their playoffs hopes fast diminishing, the southpaw would be needed to play some outstanding innings in the remaining three games and lay a solid foundation for the Punjab Kings.
Jonny Bairstow, who has had a disappointing 2022 season so far, roared back to form in the last game against Rajasthan Royals scoring 56 runs from 40 deliveries. While it did not turn out to be a match-winning knock, PBKS can heave a sigh of relief about the Englishman’s individual performances heading into the business end of the league stages.
Middle-Order: Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Mayank Agarwal (c) and Jitesh Sharma (wk)
Bhanuka Rajapaksa has succeeded in providing a lot of stability to Punjab’s middle-order. The only problem with the Sri Lankan stumper is that while he does get promising starts, he is unable to convert them into impactful scores. Rajapaksa would be hoping to tick all the boxes against RCB. Skipper Mayank Agarwal demoted himself down the batting order in pursuance of regaining his lost touch but that did not turn out to be fruitful against Rajasthan where he scored a 13-ball 15.
Promising wicketkeeper-batter Jitesh Sharma’s unbeaten knock of 38 runs off 18 balls towards the backend propelled Punjab Kings to a competitive total of 189 in the last match.
All-Rounders: Liam Livingstone and Rishi Dhawan
Liam Livingstone is one of Punjab Kings’ go-to players this season. Apart from playing crucial knocks in the middle and death overs, Livingstone can also turn the tables on the opposition with his spin bowling and he is one of the team’s pillars of strength. He might not have looked in good touch last season but with a playoff entry on the line, the Manchester cricketer can be expected to put his best foot forward in the upcoming matches.
On the other hand, Rishi Dhawan’s performance was quite average in the last encounter with figures of 1/25 from three overs. Nonetheless, the seasoned all-rounder can be a lethal bowler with his medium pace and also has the potential to score big lower down the order.
Bowlers: Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh and Sandeep Sharma
Pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada would be desperate to rediscover his lost rhythm with the ball in hand after being Punjab’s most expensive bowler in the last match, he finished with figures of 1/50 at an economy rate of 12.5. Punjab’s ace spinner Rahul Chahar also went wicketless in the last game and he would be expected to showcase a better performance in the next match.
Yorker and death overs specialist Arshdeep Singh was the star of the Punjab bowlers against RR with figures of 2/29 from his four overs and would once again be hoping to provide some vital breakthroughs going forward. Senior pacer Sandeep Sharma, who has been off-colour in the ongoing season, had a forgettable last game yet again. Not only did he go wicketless but also ended up conceding 41 runs from his four overs.
PBKS predicted playing XI for the RCB clash: Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Mayank Agarwal (c), Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Rishi Dhawan, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh, Sandeep Sharma.