The two teams have faced each other on 26 occasions. PBKS have won 14 games and RCB have pocketed the remaining 12.

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season is set to witness the Punjab Kings face Royal Challengers Bangalore in match number 26 on Friday. The match is set to be held at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. RCB have been terrific this season, claiming five wins out of six matches. They are on a strong run and will fancy a chance against PBKS. The KL Rahul-led PBKS outfit are placed sixth and will be aiming to make a comeback after being thrashed by KKR. They have two wins from six games.

The RCB were in control against both KKR and RR. They bowled well in both games and batted beautifully with different batsmen stepping up. However, against CSK, they were on the money before losing the plot in the final over. That energy transformed into their batting and the side perished cheaply chasing a huge total of 192. Against DC, the Virat Kohli-led side managed a win by a solitary run. The win will help them immensely. Looking at RCB, they have powerful performers stepping up in every game and the workload is being shared. Kohli will be a happy captain as he has been doing an able job as a leader.

Punjab Kings needed to carry one from their momentum gained against Mumbai but that didn’t happen against the Knights. Their top-order didn’t make an impact against KKR. Fir a side like PBKS, the front three batsmen hold key in terms of setting the base. It remains to be seen whether PBKS rope in Dawid Malan instead of Nicholas Pooran in the side. The bowlers has been doing a decent job in the last two games. The presence of Ravi Bishnoi will help PBKS in the spin department. Punjab Kings have a strong batting order and need to score runs in order to have a chance against RCB. 

Key details of the match

The match is set to be held at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. It’s scheduled to start at 7:30 PM IST. Fans can watch the action live on the Star Sports Network in their preferred languages. One can also stream the match live on the Disney+ Hotstar app (paid subscription). 

Here’s the preview

RCB will aim to carry on from the win over DC. Their bowling, in particular, has been a boost. The acquisition of Harshal Patel has done wonders. He has solved the problem at the death for RCB. His application and variations have been spot on. Kyle Jamieson has done justice to his hefty price tag. The New Zealander has looked comfortable and settled. Mohammed Siraj has shown his credentials as a senior pacer. He is bowling on consistent zones. Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar have done an able job as well. Kohli will be targeting a win against PBKS which will be a tricky battle. He knows there are two points in the taking and if his side can stick to the basics, the job can be done. 

For Punjab, bringing in England’s Dawid Malan will be a massive help. Leaving out a star player like him is baffling. Experience is vital and that’s where someone like Malan comes into play. He can replace a struggling Pooran. Moises Henriques is a massive presence in the team. However, he has not made an impact so far. Bishnoi’s inclusion has been a positive move. The likes of Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh chipped in as well. Meanwhile, Chris Jordan will hope to make things count. Punjab’s strength lies in their front three with the bat. However, one of them needs to continue till the end and make sure there are no hiccups. Deepak Hooda and Shahrukh Khan hold the key in the middle-order. Hooda has impressed with the ball as well and is a valuable customer.

Probable playing XIs: PBKS vs RCB

RCB probable playing XI:

Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (c), Rajat Patidar, Washington Sundar, AB de Villiers (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Kyle Jamieson, Daniel Sams, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal

PBKS probable playing XI:

KL Rahul (c&wk), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Moises Henriques, Dawid Malan/Nicholas Pooran, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Chris Jordan, Ravi Bishnoi, Mohammed Shami, Arshdeep Singh

Dream11 team prediction (option 1)

Rahul has been IPL’s best batsman for a while now and one can expect him to come alive.

Batsmen: KL Rahul, AB de Villiers, Mayank Agarwal, Devdutt Padikkal, Shahrukh Khan

All-rounders: Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar

Bowlers: Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Kyle Jamieson

Dream11 team prediction (option 2)

Harshal has claimed wickets and is superb at the death. With 17 scalps under his belt, the IPL 2021 Purple Cap holder is an asset for his team.

Batsmen: KL Rahul, AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, Devdutt Padikkal, Shahrukh Khan, Mayank Agarwal

All-rounders: Deepak Hooda

Bowlers: Ravi Bishnoi, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Kyle Jamieson

Which players can be the top picks in the Dream11 team?

Shikhar Dhawan is a must in the line-up. He has been in top form across the last three seasons. The IPL 2021 has gone well for Dhawan, who is the Orange Cap holder with 265 runs.

Rahul Tripathi has been consistent for KKR, hitting useful scores. He brings value.

In the bowling department, Varun and Avesh should be selected. Both have done an able job so far.

Dream11 fantasy: Captain choices

Harshal Patel: The Indian pacer has claimed wickets and is superb at the death. With 17 scalps under his belt, the IPL 2021 Purple Cap holder is an asset for his team.

KL Rahul: Rahul has been IPL’s best batsman for a while now and one can expect him to come alive. Punjab’s fortunes rely on Rahul and this bodes well in terms of responsibility. He needs to anchor the innings for PBKS.

Dream11 fantasy: Vice-captain choices

In terms of vice-captaincy, Padikkal is a sound option. He will be eager to contribute some good knocks of late. Bishnoi can be used as well. He is a promising young player and will target key wickets.

Pitch report and conditions

The pitch at the Motera will support batting at large. However, there will be enough swing for pacers and with things being on the slower side, spinners will have a say as well. Change of pace is crucial here. The temperature will be on the higher side and it will be humid.

Motera stats

Looking at the T20Is played here, the average first innings score is close to the 180 mark. That’s a par score here. However, the IPL match here between PBKS and KKR saw the former score just 123.

Head-to-head record

The two teams have faced each other on 26 occasions. PBKS have won 14 games and RCB have pocketed the remaining 12. In IPL 2020, PBKS won both matches against the RCB.

Match prediction

We feel RCB can get past the line here. They have a better balanced team on offer.

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