Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will play Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Match 60 of IPL 2022 on 13 May, at the Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai. With the season in its business end, every game matters for those who still have hopes of making it to the Playoffs. Punjab know they are in a situation that they know even if they win all their remaining matches, it may not be enough, because it would need collective failures by several teams above them.
Bangalore are currently fourth, but with a worse net run rate than fifth-placed Delhi Capitals. They know that this is no time to rest on their laurels. They still come into this match having won two on the spin, whilst Punjab suffered their third defeat in five matches against the Rajasthan Royals.
Much attention has been focused on the poor form with the bat this year of Virat Kohli. It now looks like he will be rested for India’s T20I series against South Africa. Fortunately, the rest of the side has been able to carry him this campaign, and there is still the lingering hope of him regaining form sooner or later.
Dinesh Karthik has proved to be an important player for Bangalore, with his finishing ability evident yet again in their last match, against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. There have been suggestions of him even taking over captaincy from Faf du Plessis. In the same Hyderabad match, Wanindu Hasaranga reminded everyone of his class with 5-18, including a rare, valuable maiden over. He is now second to Yuzvendra Chahal in the race for the Purple Cap.
Punjab have their own bowling star in Kagiso Rabada and Arshdeep Singh, but too often this campaign has lacked for meaningful support from those around them. The same can be said for their batting, where there is an over-reliance on Shikhar Dhawan and Liam Livingstone..
The pitch at the Brabourne Stadium has tended to favour the batters, while bowlers have struggled to get their line and length right. Dew may also have a big part to play, so winning the toss may be important.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Mahipal Lomror, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shahbaz Ahmed, Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Josh Hazlewood
Punjab Kings: Shikhar Dhawan, Jonny Bairstow, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Mayank Agarwal (c), Liam Livingstone, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Rishi Dhawan, Sandeep Sharma, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Sandeep Singh
- Du Plessis has led by example for Bangalore. Even if Kohli fails, he should be a good bet to set-up the RCB innings;
- Hasaranga will want to press his Purple Cap credentials with another strong showing;
- If Punjab are to pull off an unlikely win, they will need another inspired bowling performance from Rabada or Arshdeep.
This is likely to be the match that extinguishes whatever faint play-off hopes that PBKS still entertained. Back to the drawing board and start again for them.
‘Match 60 between RCB and PBKS will start at 19:30 on Friday, 13 May. You can watch the match on the Star Network and Hotstar.