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Indian Premier League
IPL 2018: Preview of match 8 – RCB vs KXIP; will Chris Gayle open today?
After a defeat in their tournament opening encounter against Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore would look to set the record straight against Kings XI Punjab today at home.

In a cliffhanger of a match, Sunil Narine spoiled the party for RCB by hitting a blazing 17-ball fifty for KKR to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.   

However, for RCB to have any chances of winning against KXIP on Friday, its two main hitters Brendon McCullum and AB de Villiers would need to unleash some fireworks. Both had played trailblazing knocks of 43 and 44 runs respectively in the opening match against KKR. Also, McCullum's confidence would be sky high today after having completed 9000 T20 runs in the last match. 

Skipper Virat Kohli, who played a subdued sort of innings in the last game, scoring 31 off 33 balls, would also have to come to the party tonight. Today's match is expected to be high scoring game given the shorter boundaries at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. Besides, RCB has a few big hitters like Quinton de Kock, Sarfaraz Khan, Chris Woakes and Corey Anderson, who are hungry for runs. 

The bowling department of RCB looks quite settled with both Umesh Yadav and Woakes sharing five wickets between them in the last match. However, the problem lies for RCB in the spin department as the duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sunder gave a below par performance in the opening game, scalping only 1 wicket and giving away 77 runs in 56 balls. New Zealand quickie Tim Southee could also get a look in for today's game as he's considered one of the finest new-ball bowlers of contemporary cricket. 

Coming into today's match, the situation of Kings XI Punjab is completely opposite to their rivals, having started season 11 of the Indian Premier League on a winning note, beating Delhi Daredevils by 6 wickets. RCB must watch out for KL Rahul who singlehandedly scripted the victory against DD by scoring the fastest fifty in IPL. Rahul had scored a 16-ball 51 smashing six boundaries and four sixes. A repeat of his performance tonight could spell trouble for the Royal Challengers. 

Yuvraj Singh who looked rusty in the last game scoring 12 off 22 balls must pick up his act and prove that he's isn't done yet.

Speculations are rife that Chris Gayle, who this time around will step out in KXIP jersey could open the innings since he's familiar with the conditions, having played for RCB since season four of the IPL featuring in 85 matches, scoring over 3000 runs at an impressive strike of 151.20. Gayle hadn't played in the opening match against Delhi Daredevils. 

However, RCB coach Daniel Vettori does not feel that Gayle will play on Friday, as expressed by him during Thursday's media interaction. But he said that his team was well equipped to handle him, in case he did play. 

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