George Bailey (left) and Virat Kohli, captain of Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively © IANS
George Bailey (left) and Virat Kohli, captain of Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively © IANS

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) take on the Royal Challenges Bangalore (RCB) in Match 50 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2015 at Mohali on Wednesday. RCB are virtually one win away from qualifying for the playoffs for the first time since IPL 2012. They will be wary of KXIP, who have fought hard in the last few games. IPL 2015: Schedule with venue details

The last time these two sides faced off, it ended in shambles for KXIP. Chris Gayle went all guns blazing to score his fifth IPL hundred, and KXIP responded by getting blown apart by Sreenath Aravind and Mitchell Starc. RCB would love an encore; KXIP would like to forget that performance entirely. READ: RCB humiliate KXIP at Bangalore

RCB will take a lot of heart from the performances of the top three of Gayle, Virat Kohli, and AB de Villiers. The senior pros have performed admirably, and in the event of their failures, Mandeep Singh, Dinesh Karthik, and Sarfaraz Khan have stepped up. The batting order looks quite settled, and Starc has given the bowling the teeth it so desperately needed.  IPL 2015 Highest run-scorer: List of best batsmen in IPL 8

If Starc has been prolific at the start, he has been backed up efficiently by Varun Aaron, Harshal Patel, Sreenath Aravind, David Wiese, and Yuzvendra Chahal. RCB’s bowling attack has rarely looked deadly, but they have managed to get the job done more often than not. IPL 2015 Highest wicket-taker: List of best bowlers in IPL 8

On the other hand, KXIP are a team that have just not clicked this year. Their protagonists from last year have fallen flat this year, and they have not been able to find new heroes. Sandeep Sharma and Anureet Singh remain the only ones who have enhanced their reputations, but the others have suffered a fall from grace. David Miller played a superb innings against Sunrises Hyderabad (SRH), but even that was not enough to stave off defeat.

RCB are the overwhelming favourites going into the game, but they will be wary of what happened in IPL 2012 when they were in a similar position. Back then they needed to win one of their last two matches to qualify, and ended up losing both. KXIP will feel they are close to that one flawless performance they have been aiming for, and that will make them a potentially dangerous side. IPL 2015: Points Table and Team Standings

On paper, RCB look good to win the game, but they will need to maintain the intensity they have shown in the last few games. With Gayle and de Villiers having scored centuries, Kohli will want to get in on the action. A high-scoring affair could be on view at Mohali. IPL 2015: Complete Coverage


Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB): Virat Kohli (c), Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Darren Sammy, Mitchell Starc, Dinesh Karthik, Subramanium Badrinath, Sean Abbott, Adam Milne, Nic Maddinson, Ashok Dinda, Manvinder Bisla, Varun Aaron, Vijay Zol, Sarfaraz Khan, Jalaj Saxena, Shishir Bhavane, Iqbal Abdullah, David Wiese, Rilee Rossouw, Abu Nechim, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sandeep Warrier, Yogesh Takawale, Jalaj Saxena.

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP): George Bailey (c), Virender Sehwag, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, Mitchell Johnson, Murali Vijay, Shaun Marsh, Akshar Patel, Sandeep Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, Manan Vohra, Thisara Perera, Rishi Dhawan, Anureet Singh, Karanveer Singh, Nikhil Naik, Parvinder Awana, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Yogesh Golwalkar, Beuran Hendricks, Shivam Sharma, Shardul Thakur.

Time: 20:00 local | 14:30 GMT

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @ShiamakUnwalla)