Royal Challengers Bangalore are finally back to winning ways in the Indian Premier League. Thanks to Parthiv Patel's brilliant direct-hit in their last game against the Chennai Super Kings, they are still in contention for the playoffs. However, the task is not as easy as they need to win all their remaining matches. Today, Bangalore will host the Kings XI Punjab in the 42nd match of the season in a crucial game for both teams. Punjab are in a good run of form as they have won three out of their last four matches. But their away record has been poor in this season and have lost four games on the road so far.
Chris Gayle will be a key factor in today's game as he has scored runs for fun at the Chinnaswamy stadium in the past. The mighty left-hander has a fantastic record at the ground having scored 1538 runs, which includes three centuries. He has also recorded the highest ever score of 175 on this ground against Pune Warriors in 2013. RCB need to make some brave decisions to counter the Punjab opener.
One change that they could make to their playing XI would be playing the off-spinner Washington Sundar ahead of Pawan Negi. It's a well-known fact that Gayle loves the balls which turn towards him but is vulnerable against the ball turning away. Dhoni has tried this tactic many times against Gayle and led to Ravichandran Ashwin having great success against the Jamaican. Only three bowlers have dismissed him four times in IPL history. They are Harbhajan Singh, Ashwin, and Sandeep Sharma. Interestingly, two of them are off-spinners. Hence it would be a great move if Virat Kohli brings an off-spinner to bowl to him at the start of innings.
If Chris Gayle is off to a good start, he might hurt you, especially on a ground like the Chinnaswamy stadium, where hitting sixes has been quite easy. If this happens, it will be the end of the road for the Royal Challengers Bangalore this season. Hence the hosts have to ensure he is sent back to the pavilion as early as possible.