Third-placed Royal Challenger Bangalore (RCB) will face Punjab Kings (PBKS) in match number 48 of IPL 2021 in Sharjah on Sunday. The high-octane clash will feature biggest names of the IPL 2021 including the likes of Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers and Devdutt Padikkal.
Virat Kohli to score over 28.5 runs @ 2.78
Virat Kohli has gone through a lot of things in the last two weeks. The 32-year-old first announced his decision to step down from India's T20I captaincy after the T20 World Cup and later made the call to give up the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captaincy also after the IPL 2021. The right-hand batsman did not have a good start to IPL 2021 UAE leg and he was dismissed for 5 by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) pacer Prasidh Krishna.
However, things have bettered for him ever since the match against KKR. The swashbuckling batsman, who hasn't scored a hundred in professional cricket (all format) since April 2019, got back in the groove after hitting back-to-back fifties against three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI). The Delhi lad was in sensational touch against Rohit Sharma's team, also scoring a 'no-look' six during his 42-ball 51.
On Wednesday, he was looking set for another fifty but was undone by a brilliant Riyan Parag throw. Kohli scored 20-ball 25 as his team won the match by 7 wickets. Overall, the India captain has hit 716 runs at an average of 29.83. He has one hundred, 2 fifties and 7 scores of 30 plus against the Kings. In the India leg of the IPL 2021, Kohli hit 35 off 34 against the KL Rahul-led team. Mohammed Shami and Arshdeep Singh have bowled well and scalped 15 and 16 wickets respectively but the duo will have to be wary of the threats from Kohli, who looks in the mood to make a statement.
KL Rahul to score over 27.5 runs @ 1.89
The Punjab Kings (PBKS) batsman was the winner of Orange Cap in IPL 2020 and is again leading the runs chart with 489 runs in 11 matches so far. The UAE leg of IPL 2021 has seen KL Rahul score 49, 21 and 21 runs and 67 against Rajasthan Royals, Sunrisers Hydarabad, Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders respectively. The 29-year-old will be keen on making it big against CSK, who are riding high on confidence after becoming the first team to qualify for the playoffs. Punjab are in the bottom half of the points table and eyeing a spot in playoffs - and that can be another motivating factor for the skipper.
In the face-off, the swashbuckling right-hand batsman will face the likes of Navdeep Saini and Yuzvendra Chahal -- his two team India teammates who have bowled to him a lot in the nets. The contest between current Purple Cap-holder Harshal Patel and Rahul is expected to be a thrilling one.
KL Rahul has a terrific record against his former team. With the score of 412 runs in 7 matches, the wicketkeeper-batsman, who has scored averages 103 against Kohli's men. KL Rahul has scored one hundred, 2 fifties (including 57-ball 91 in India leg of IPL 2021) and 2 thirty-plus scores against Bangalore.
Glenn Maxwell to score over over 20.5 runs @1.89
After KL Rahul, it's Glenn Maxwell who will be up against his former team Punjab Kings (PBKS). The hard-hitting Australian batsman could manage only 108 runs for the franchise in 13 matches of IPL 2020. He averaged 15.42 and could not hit a single six.
As expected, Maxwell was released by PBKS ahead of IPL 2021 auction and was bought by RCB for a whopping Rs 14.25 crore. In the presence of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, the 32-year-old has blossomed well to score 350 runs in 10 innings. Apart from an average of 38.88 and strike rate of 141.70, Maxwell has hit 4 fifties. Not to forget, Maxwell has made the ball sail over the boundary rope on 15 occasions this time.
In a day match and on a batting-friendly the Sharjah surface, Maxwell is expected to flourish again.