What makes IPL ever so contesting is the constant fighting attitude of teams and their players in the competition. Talkin about such spirit, one needs to applaud Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli, who batted through pain against Kolkata Knight Riders, to help RCB defeat KKR. Kohli, who was set to go for stitches in his left hand (webbing) after the KKR match, will feature in the must-win game against Kings XI Punjab in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore have shown immense character in their last few matches, to keep their playoff hopes alive. RCB will have a good chance of qualifying for the playoffs if they win their last two matches against Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils. KXIP have already been eliminated from IPL 2016 playoff race, but they could play spoilsport against RCB, by defeating the home team.
The Challengers, after having won four out of their last five matches, including two back-to-back victories, and are not expected to make any changes to their playing XI, which featured against KKR.
In Chris Gayle, Kohli, AB De Villiers and Shane Watson, RCB do not even need to shuffle their batting order. With KL Rahul and Sachin Baby showing good batting skills, they have good batsmen to follow, which allows the RCB big guns to play their natural game.
RCB should play their two spinners – Yuzvendra Chahal and Iqbal Abdulla – as the two have decent this season. Chris Jordan, who is known for his death bowling, will be confident after some impressive bowling performances against Gujarat Lions and KKR. Sreenath Aravind could maintain his place in the playing XI, unless Kohli feels Varun Aaron, who could also replace Abdulla, can do a better job.
The Kings XI might have been unfortunate to lose against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, who chased Murali Vijay's team score of 179 runs, but they will be hoping for a better performance from their bowlers against the oh-so-dangerous batting lineup of RCB.
KXIP have been forced to make changes, with Glenn Maxwell ruled out of the tournament due to side strain and Marcus Stoinis opting out for personal reasons. It could be a blessing in disguise as Maxwell has been out of form in the competition. Farhan Behardien, who has only played one game in IPL 2016, should get a look in, and KXIP will hopes he changes the team's fortunes as well.
However, Stoinis is going to be a big miss for the KXIP, hence one could see Kyle Abott in the starting XI.
Expected playing XI: RCB: Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, KL Rahul (wk), Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Chris Jordan, Sreenath Aravind, Iqbal Abdulla, Yuzvendra Chahal
Kings XI Punjab: Murali Vijay (c) , Hashim Amla, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Farhaan Behardien, Gurkeerat Singh, David Miller, Axar Patel, Kyle Abbott, Mohit Sharma, Sandeep Sharma, Anureet Singh