Gayle chases landmark against favourite opponents

Match facts

Kings XI Punjab v Royal Challengers Bangalore
Indore, April 10, 2017
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)



Can Gayle hit top gear?

Head to head

Last season: Royal Challengers won both matches, by a whopping 82 runs (D/L method) in a rain-shortened game in Bengaluru, and by one run in a nailbiter in Mohali.

Overall: The teams have met in 18 matches, of which Kings XI have won ten and lost eight.

In the news

Most times, the use of the word “history” while talking about Twenty20 can be dismissed as hyperbole. On Monday, though, the Holkar Stadium could see a genuinely historic moment – if he scores 25, Chris Gayle will become the first batsman to reach 10,000 runs in T20s.

Will he play, though? Royal Challengers were without both Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in their first two matches, and while it might take a while longer for Kohli to return from his shoulder injury, de Villiers indicated he is “very close to 100%”. If de Villiers does return, Royal Challengers might have to debate leaving out Gayle.

Kings XI don’t have too many selection headaches after positive displays from most of their players in a six-wicket win against Rising Pune Supergiant. They might, however, ponder the inclusion of new recruit Eoin Morgan, who is perhaps a more natural T20 fit than Hashim Amla, though that swap will necessitate a shuffle in the opening positions.

The likely XIs

Kings XI Punjab: 1 Hashim Amla/Eoin Morgan, 2 Manan Vohra, 3 Wriddhiman Saha (wk), 4 Glenn Maxwell (capt), 5 David Miller, 6 Marcus Stoinis, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Swapnil Singh, 9 Mohit Sharma, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 T Natarajan.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Shane Watson (capt), 3 AB de Villiers/Travis Head/Billy Stanlake, 4 Mandeep Singh, 5 Kedar Jadhav, 6 Stuart Binny, 7 Vishnu Vinod (wk), 8 Pawan Negi/S Aravind, 9 Iqbal Abdulla, 10 Tymal Mills, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal

Stats that matter

  • Royal Challengers (8.82) and Kings XI (8.56) ended up with the worst economy rates among all teams in the 2016 season.
  • Of all the Indian venues that have hosted the IPL, Holkar Stadium in Indore has been among the lowest-scoring, with teams managing an average first-innings run rate of 6.94 in three matches. The DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai has been the only lower-scoring venue, with a first-innings run rate of 6.89 in 17 matches.
  • It would be fitting if Chris Gayle brought up his 10,000th T20 run in a match against Kings XI Punjab. He has scored 797 runs against them, the most by any batsman against a single IPL opponent, has scored two of his five IPL hundreds against them. He has a better strike rate against them – 175.55 – than against any other IPL team.
  • Gayle, though, doesn’t have a great record against two of Kings XI’s bowlers. Sandeep Sharma is one of only five IPL bowlers to dismiss him three times or more, and has limited him to 55 runs off 46 balls. Mohit Sharma, meanwhile, has never dismissed Gayle, but has only conceded 18 runs off 21 balls.
  • Overall, Sandeep has 12 wickets against Royal Challengers at 17.91. He hasn’t taken more than nine wickets against any other IPL opponent.
  • Yuzvendra Chahal, meanwhile, has 12 wickets against Kings XI at an average of 12.50, while conceding 7.62 per over. He doesn’t have more than eight wickets against any other IPL team.
  • Last season, Kings XI had the worst middle overs (7-15) in the IPL, with the poorest batting run rate (7.46) and bowling economy rate (8.35) among all teams.
  • Axar Patel has dismissed Shane Watson every time the two have faced off. In three innings, Axar has conceded 22 runs off 20 balls to Watson.
  • Of all the bowlers who have bowled 100 or more balls in the last four overs of IPL matches since the start of the 2015 season, Watson has the worst economy rate – 11.49.
  • Iqbal Abdulla has taken 14 wickets in the Powerplay overs of the IPL – only R Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh have more, among spinners – while conceding 6.28 runs per over.

Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.