Seven matches, four wins and three losses - it has been a good start to the season for Kings XI Punjab and now when the tournament enters the second half, they have to be wary of conceding momentum, much in the same way they fizzled out last year. They will be up against Royal Challengers Bangalore, a side many believe has already fizzled out this season, but then can bounce back on any given day.
Punjab's record in Mohali is great, they are yet to concede more than 176 here and have the side to nullify an already beleaguered RCB outfit.
Predicted XI of both sides:
Kings XI Punjab Predicted XI: KL Rahul (wk), Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Sarfaraz Khan, David Miller, Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Hardus Viljoen, Ravichandran Ashwin (c), Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami
Royal Challengers Bangalore Predicted XI: Parthiv Patel (wk), Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube, Pawan Negi, Tim Southee, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav
Fantasy tips and suggestions:
Wicket-keeper: Parthiv Patel has been consistent at the top of the order but has not managed to leave an impact on the score. KL Rahul is coming after a superb century against Mumbai Indians and could fancy the RCB bowling attack and thus, is an automatic pick over Parthiv Patel as the wicket-keeper.
Batsmen: Virat Kohli is battered and he is hungry to prove a few people wrong. Hence, he will be one to watch out for as will be Chris Gayle, who was at his best against Mumbai Indians. AB de Villiers and Mayank Agarwal should round off the batting order for this side, as all these batsmen have been amongst the runs and now at the business end of the tournament they need to stand up and be counted.
All-rounders: Marcus Stoinis was expected to bring great balance to RCB, but he has punched under his weight but could fancy the KXIP bowling attack. Also, Kohli could use him to control the middle overs, which might lead to wickets. Sam Curran was plundered for runs in Mumbai, but the young man has shown unflappable temperament and hence, should be in the side, as he picked up a hat-trick on this very ground.
Spinners: R Ashwin has been brilliant this season with the ball and has not only contained runs but also picked up wickets. He will be accompanied by Yuzvendra Chahal, who has quietly gone about his business as usual with the ball.
Seamers: Umesh Yadav makes a comeback and he should be included in the side. He has pace and hostility and could ruffle up Chris Gayle early. Also, Hardus Viljoen has shown tremendous promise, more so in the death overs and should be a good pick. Mohammed Shami completes the side and this season has been a revelation of sorts for the pacer.