Mohali, Apr 19: Royal Challengers Bangalore will again bank on their explosive opener Chris Gayle when they face Kings XI Punjab in Game 25 of IPL 5 here at the PCA Stadium on Friday night.
Gayle blasted eight sixes on way to a 48-ball 81 against Pune Warriors at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Tuesday.
Gayle's innings included five successive sixes off one Rahul Sharma over. One of those hits into the stands had injured a girl.
The tall West Indian strikes the ball with such power that spectators in the stadium need to be on high alert all the time. After entertaining Bangalore crowd, he will be hoping to continue his assault on Punjab bowlers.
RCB are overwhelming favourites for this clash. Punjab have been inconsistent and have lost three matches.
Their batting has not fired yet. David Hussey, the big-hitting Australian is yet to get big runs. Captain Adam Gilchrist has too much to deal with. He is captain, coach and wicket keeper. His usual aggressive batting is also missing.
Punjab have an uphill task to stop RCB on Friday night. Even if they get Gayle cheaply, there are Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and last-ball six hero Saurabh Tiwary who seems to have regained his touch.
Kings XI Punjab: Adam Gilchrist (captain), Shaun Marsh, Dimitri Mascarenhas, David Hussey, Praveen Kumar, Bipul Sharma, Piyush Chawla, Parvinder Awana, Azhar Mahmood, James Faulkner, Paul Valthaty, Bhargav Bhatt, Kyle Abbott, Love Ablish, Amit Yadav, Siddharth Chitnis, Ben Cutting, Paras Dogra, Gurkeerat Singh, Harmeet Singh, Ryan Harris, Vikramjeet Malik, Mandeep Singh, David Miller, Abhishek Nayar, Ramesh Powar, Nathan Rimmington, Nitin Saini, Shalabh Srivastava, Sunny Singh.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Daniel Vettori (captain), Mayank Agarwal, KP Appanna, Sreenath Aravind, Arun Karthik, Raju Bhatkal, AB de Villiers, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Muralidharen Gautam, Chris Gayle, Mohammad Kaif, Abrar Kazi, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Charl Langeveldt, Andrew McDonald, Abhimanyu Mithun, Muttiah Muralitharan, Karun Nair, Dirk Nannes, Ryan Ninan, Harshal Patel, Asad Pathan, Luke Pomersbach, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rilee Rossouw, Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad, Saurabh Tiwary, Vinay Kumar, Vijay Zol.