Batting woes for RCB, clash with Punjab Kings in IPL match today

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalApr 20, 2023 | 11:47

Batting woes for RCB, clash with Punjab Kings in IPL match today

RCB captain Faf du Plessis and Virat Kohli have scored 3 fifties so far in five games in IPL 2023. Photo: PTI

When IPL 2023 started and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) won their first match against Mumbai Indians (MI) with authority, it seemed like the Faf du Plessis-led team would rule the points table this year.

But 5 matches down the line, RCB has lost three, and it appears that there are few shortcomings the team needs to address. This time, there biggest weakness appears to be their batting, which till recently, was its biggest strength.


Apart from the game against MI, RCB has won only against Delhi Capitals (DC), a side which has recorded five back-to-back losses this year. 

RCB will have to address the elephant in the room before it gets too late. In today’s clash against Punjab Kings (PBKS) in Mohali, the RCB batters will stand a big test.

What is RCB’s biggest worry this year?

The overdependence on top 3 batters - Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis and Glenn Maxwell - has become an issue for the RCB.

Apart from these 3, the other batters have hardly contributed in the last five matches. 

Both Kohli and Du Plessis have got three half-centuries each this year. And joining them is Glenn Maxwell. The Australian right-handed batter has been in brilliant form with a strike rate of 197.75 this year.

Du Plessis has scored 259 runs in only 5 matches averaging 64.75 at a strike-rate of 172.67.

Kohli too is not behind, and is providing rock solid support to Du Plessis as an opener. The former RCB captain is batting at a strike-rate of 147.65 and has scored 220 runs in five matches at an average of 55.

But then, apart from these 3, none of the RCB batters, be it Dinesh Karthik, Shahbaz Ahmed, Harshal Patel or Michael Bracewell have been able to make an impact.


And this is a big worry for RCB. A loophole on which all the other teams would like to capitalize on. Even Karthik has not been able to play to his full potential till now because he doesn’t get too many balls to play.

Elevating him at number four can produce good results for the team, but then there will be a dearth of a finisher.

PBKS players who can be crucial against RCB

Punjab Kings, under Shikhar Dhawan, looks like a balanced side. The team has top talent from England in Sam Curran and Liam Livingstone. Matt Short has emerged as another powerful batter in the top order.

Then, the team has Sikandar Raza, the impactful player from Zimbabwe. The allrounder played a very good knock of 57 off 41 balls in the last match against LSG. He was the sole batter from Punjab to have produced a good knock at a dismal slow wicket of Lucknow where all batters from both the teams struggled to make runs.

Punjab has a talented line-up of players, like Shikhar Dhawan, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Shahrukh Khan, Sikander Raza and Arshdeep Singh, . 


However, in today’s match, it remains to be seen whether Liam Livingstone will be included in the playing XI as the star buy of PBKS has not yet played a game in 2023 and is yet to get final clearance on his fitness.

Mohali pitch report: The Mohali wicket is known to be a batting surface but its bigger boundaries can also help the spinners.

The wicket initially also helps the fast bowlers. So RCB’s Mohammad Siraj and Recee Topley will have crucial roles to play. So will PBKS’s Arshdeep Singh, Kagiso Rabada and Sam Curran.

Team winning the toss would prefer to bowl first at Mohali, which has become quite a norm in T20 cricket these days. And with the Impact Player rule, the bowling side can add additional batter if the target is too high or can add an extra bowler if the wicket helps the bowlers

Probable playing XIs:

PBKS:  Shikhar Dhawan ©, Prabhsimran Singh, Matt Short, Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Sikandar Raza, Sam Curran, Shahrukh Khan, Harpreet Brar, Kagiso Rabada, Arsdeep Singh, Rahul Chahar.

RCB: Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis, Mahipal Lomror, Glenn Maxwell, Shahbaz Ahmed, Dinesh Karthik, Suyash Prabhudesai, Wayne Parnell, Wanindu Hasaranga, Harshal Patel, Vyshak Vijay Kumar, Mohammad Siraj.

The match will start at 3:30 pm and will broadcast Live on Star Sports and will digitally stream on Jio Cinema.

Last updated: April 20, 2023 | 12:04
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