Match 31 of the Indian T20 league 2020 pits the two trophyless teams Bangalore and Punjab against each other at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday.
At the halfway point in the tournament, Bangalore are at the third place in the point table with five wins in seven matches, whereas Punjab are at the last place with only one win in seven matches. Incidentally, their only victory came against Bangalore way back in game six of the tournament.
On the back of a masterful century by L Rahul and a wonderful bowling display by R Bishnoi and M Ashwin, Punjab won the game by 96 runs. Nothing has gone right for the team since then.
Although L Rahul and M Agarwal occupy the first two places in the Orange Cap standings, the team’s batting has not clicked collectively. Apart from these two, only N Pooran is in form and is scoring consistently. With C Gayle fit, he will surely be replacing G Maxwell in the playing XI.
If we talk about bowling, nobody except M Shami and R Bishnoi looks like taking wickets. The death overs have been a major concern for the team as they are conceding more than 60 runs on average in the last five overs.
Bangalore, on the other hand, have had a dream first half of the season and look solid in all departments. With the top order in form and each batsman scoring runs, the batting combination is fairly settled now. Finch, V Kohli, and De Villiers showed what they are capable of in the last few matches. It will not be easy for the opposition bowlers in the upcoming match, especially against Kohli and De Villiers.
With W Sundar, Y Chahal, and C Morris complementing each other, Bangalore have been able to defend their score successfully in the last few matches.
This should be an entertaining game, with both sides looking to get the two crucial points.
- Match: Bangalore vs. Punjab, Match 31
- Venue: Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sharjah
- Date & Time: Oct. 15, 2020, at 7.30 PM IST
Probable Playing 11
A Finch, D Padikkal, V Kohli (C), AB De Villiers (WK), S Dube, W Sundar, C Morris, I Udana, N Saini, Y Chahal, M Siraj
L Rahul (C & WK), C Gayle, M Aggarwal, N Pooran, M Singh, S Singh, M Ur Rehman, A Singh, M Shami, C Jordan, R Bishnoi
The average scores are coming down as the pitches start getting slower by every match. The average first innings score at the venue is 203 runs. The last two matches have failed to cross the 200-run mark, which seemed to be a minimum in the first few matches at the venue.
The batsmen have generally ruled the roost with the dimensions of the ground favoring them. However, the bowlers have learned the lengths and used them to perfection last time out.
With the batting evidently getting more difficult in the second innings, both captains would ideally look to bat first and take advantage of the better batting conditions.
- D Padikkal has 243 runs in seven innings with three fifties. He is second to Kohli in terms of runs scored by a Bangalore batsman in this tournament.
- In the last game against Kolkata, De Villiers showed why he is such a superstar of the game. He would like to repeat his performance in this match too.
- C Morris has picked up five wickets in the two matches he has played. His length variations will be a key on this surface.
- L Rahul has failed to get his team over the line in the last few matches. He has three fifties in the losing cause. He would like to improve on that and win this match.
- C Gayle, if he plays, can dominate the bowling attack like no one else. He needs to fire if Punjab have to win.
- R Bishnoi has impressed everyone and has picked up eight wickets in the seven matches he has played.
Howzat Dream Team
- Wicketkeepers: L Rahul, De Villiers
- Batsmen: D Padikkal, M Agarwal, A Finch, C Gayle
- All-rounders: C Morris, W Sundar
- Bowlers: I Udana, R Bishnoi, A Singh
- Captain: L Rahul/M Agarwal
- Vice Captain: A Finch/C Morris
NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can select your own fantasy cricket team on the fantasy app by using your knowledge and win in fantasy league. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the playing 11.