Bangalore runs into inconsistent Punjab

Having dished out complete performances in its last two matches, the Faf du Plessis-led Bangalore appears to have found its best combination. Barring Virat Kohli, who is enduring a challenging phase, the RCB batters are in good touch.
Bangalore runs into inconsistent Punjab
Royal Challengers Bangalore heads into the match on the back of successive wins

MUMBAI: Royal Challengers Bangalore, which has found the much-needed momentum towards the business end of IPL 2022, will back itself to ride past an inconsistent Punjab Kings at the Brabourne Stadium here on Friday.

Having dished out complete performances in its last two matches, the Faf du Plessis-led Bangalore appears to have found its best combination. Barring Virat Kohli, who is enduring a challenging phase, the RCB batters are in good touch.

The uncapped duo of Rajat Patidar and Mahipal Lomror has complemented seasoned pros such as du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik. The 36-year-old Karthik has been one of the best finishers in the competition and is fresh off a quickfire, unbeaten 30 against Sunrisers Hyderabad. The bowling department, too, packs a punch in the presence of lead pacers Josh Hazlewood and Harshal Patel.

Wanindu Hasaranga scalped five in the previous match while Maxwell has chipped in with his off-spin in both the powerplay and middle overs. A win against Punjab would take Bangalore (14 points from 12 matches) closer to a play-offs spot.

Meanwhile, Punjab, which has secured 10 points from 11 games, needs to win its remaining three fixtures to have a shot at finishing in the top-four. Captaincy burden has affected the batting of Mayank Agarwal, who has now dropped to the middle-order to accommodate Jonny Bairstow at the top.

With Shikhar Dhawan, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Liam Livingstone and Jitesh Sharma making up the rest of the batting pack, Kings has the firepower to overcome Royal Challengers. On the bowling front, the pace duo of Kagiso Rabada and Arshdeep Singh could hold the key. A win for Punjab will make the back end of IPL 2022 even more interesting.

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