IPL 2011: Kings XI Punjab face battle for survival against Royal Challengers Bangalore

first_imgChris Gayle’s explosive batting would once again make the decisive difference when inform Royal Challengers Bangalore take on an equally upbeat Kings XI Punjab in an Indian Premier League match in Dharamsala on Tuesday.Assured of a play-offs berth, Bangalore have not seen defeat for seven matches while Punjab, who are still fighting to make the knock-out stage, are unbeaten for three games now.Bangalore have gone from strength to strength ever since Gayle’s arrival. The all-rounder as been in marauding form leaving the opposition bowlers literally scurrying for cover.The worrying thing for Punjab would be that one of Gayle’s two destructive hundreds this season came against them and Adam Gilchrist would be desperately hoping for the law of averages to catch up with the big- hitter.Bangalore went on to smash 205 in their last match against Punjab, who were bogged down by the huge challenge.Punjab have an outside chance of making the play-offs if they keep winning but to pull it off against the dominant Bangalore, it would require a very special effort.Punjab certainly have the batting to do the job with Gilchrist, Paul Valthaty, Shaun Marsh, Dinesh Karthik and David Hussey making up a solid line-up.Just a couple of big innings from Punjab would be enough to set up a competitive total or chase down an intimidating target.As far as bowling is concerned, Punjab have struggled badly and though pacer Praveen Kumar and spin leg-spinner Piyush Chawla came good in the previous match against Delhi Daredevils, stopping the hurricane called Gayle would be a tougher task.advertisementFor Bangalore, Gayle’s success has brought phenomenal results, but the team also has to be wary of relying too heavily on the West Indian. Gayle can also be inconsistent and Bangalore need the rest of the line-up – which includes Luke Pomersbach, Virat Kohli, and AB de Villiers – to support the dashing left-hander with good contributions down the order. The fact that Bangalore lost six wickets while chasing just 102 against Kolkata Knight Riders the other day after Gayle got out for 38 should cause some concern.In bowling, the assured presence of the experienced Zaheer Khan has worked well for the team. But the star pacer has been left jaded by months of cricket and the rest of the attack – comprising Charl Langeveldt, Sreenath Aravind and Abhimanyu Mithun – has to ensure that his efforts are well complimented.Given the form of both the teams, it seems to be an even contest but the Gayle factor slightly tilts the balance in Bangalore’s favour.- with inputs from PTIlast_img

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