Punjab take on second-placed Bangalore in match 26 of the Indian T20 League 2021 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Friday, April 30.
Led by KL Rahul, Punjab have struggled for consistency as they have managed just two wins in their first six matches.
On the other hand, Virat Kohli-led Bangalore have established themselves as one of the title contenders so far, winning five of the opening six matches.
A win on Friday will take Bangalore to the top of the points table while six-placed Punjab will look to bring their campaign back on track.
Punjab vs Bangalore probable playing XI
Punjab went through a horrendous batting collapse against Kolkata in their previous encounter in Ahmedabad. The 2014 finalists were restricted to 124 for 9 as none of the batters could score more than 31 runs. The form of West Indies duo Chris Gayle and Nicholas Pooran have been a massive concern for Punjab. World number one T20 batsman Dawid Malan could replace struggling Nicholas Pooran in the playing XI on Friday.
Bangalore, on the other hand, are expected to retain their playing XI which won against Delhi on Tuesday.
Punjab predicted XI: KL Rahul (captain/wicketkeeper), Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran/David Malan, Deepak Hooda, Shahrukh Khan, Moises Henriques, Chris Jordan, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh
Bangalore predicted XI: Virat Kohli (captain), Devdutt Padikkal, Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers (wicket-keeper), Daniel Sams, Washington Sundar, Kyle Jamieson, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal
Punjab vs Bangalore prediction: Who will win?
In Punjab vs Bangalore head-to-head record, Virat Kohli’s side has won 14 of the 26 encounters. Meanwhile, Punjab have registered 12 victories. Additionally, Bangalore have won three of their last five matches against KL Rahul’s team in the high-profile league. Considering the form of the Bangalore side, they are tipped to triumph over Punjab at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday.
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Top Tip: Best Batsmen
Punjab captain KL Rahul will be the player to watch out for against his former side. The 29-year-old has a staggering record against Bangalore, amassing 371 runs in eight innings at an average of 74.2 and strike rate of 155.23. He has hit one century and one fifty against Virat Kohli's side.
On the other hand, Bangalore will once again depend on AB de Villiers to put in a match-winning performance with the bat against Punjab. The 37-year-old has a great record against KL Rahul’s side, aggregating 710 runs in 21 innings at a strike rate of 159.19 with seven fifties.
Top Tip: Best Bowlers
In the bowling department, Punjab pacer Mohammed Shami is expected to be Bangalore’s biggest threat on Friday. Shami has bagged nine wickets in eight innings at a strike rate of 20.67.
For Bangalore, Yuzvendra Chahal is tipped to be the wrecker-in-chief for his side against Punjab. The 30-year-old has scalped 21 wickets in 14 innings against the opposition at an economy of 7.88.
Top Tips: All-rounder and Wicket-keeper
Bangalore possesses several top all-rounders in their line-up including Washington Sundar, Daniel Christian and Glenn Maxwell. However, India all-rounder Washington Sundar would be the preferred choice for the all-rounder spot due to his match-winning capabilities. Sundar has picked 27 wickets while scoring 217 runs in 42 Indian T20 League matches.
On the other hand, Punjab all-rounder Moises Henriques is tipped to bring all his experience into play against Bangalore. Henriques has a decent record against Virat Kohli’s side both with the bat and the ball. He is expected to play an important role for Punjab at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday.
For the wicket-keeper position, AB de Villiers will be the preferred choice over KL Rahul. De Villiers is considered to be one of the best fielders to have played the sport. He has equally safe hands behind the stumps. The former South Africa captain has taken 110 catches and completed eight stumpings in the Indian T20 League history.
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Featured photo: IPL/BCCI