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IPL-2024: Royal Challengers Bengaluru to face Punjab Kings in Bengaluru: RCB won the toss opt to bowl

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A handful of logistics managers walking into the P1 stand on an idyllic and warm Sunday afternoon in Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy Stadium received the above, all-too-familiar acoustic welcome. It was the sound of RCB’s batters practising their range hitting and sending projectiles into unoccupied chairs around the ground.

RCB won the toss and chose to bowl in the 6th match of the Tata IPL today at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.

The homecoming hope is for the ‘thud’ to be replaced by a celebratory crowd roar. After a false start in Chennai, RCB have a run of three home games in an eight-day window where batting missteps will come with a big price.

The Monday night fixture against Punjab Kings is a first opportunity to see if the Andy Flower and Mo Bobat combine have an alternate theory to playing on this most unforgiving of T20 grounds. Last year, for example, saw an average score of 196. RCB got 197 in a final ‘win and qualify’ game and still lost with five balls to spare.

Could they, for instance, eschew all inhibition, forget about bowling strengths and hit out from the get go? To that extent, the partnership between Anuj Rawat and Dinesh Karthik on the opening night of IPL 2024 was a reassuring display of available depth.

For the visitors, it is a very short turnaround after a positive start at a new home. But if there is one venue they wouldn’t mind turning up straight for a match 48 hours after the last one, then this is it. The Chinnaswamy holds no secrets. Or does it?

Squads:

Royal Challengers Bengaluru Squad: Virat Kohli, Faf du Plessis(c), Rajat Patidar, Glenn Maxwell, Cameron Green, Anuj Rawat(w), Dinesh Karthik, Karn Sharma, Alzarri Joseph, Mayank Dagar, Mohammed Siraj, Yash Dayal, Akash Deep, Suyash Prabhudessai, Swapnil Singh, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Lockie Ferguson, Mahipal Lomror, Will Jacks, Manoj Bhandage, Saurav Chauhan, Rajan Kumar, Himanshu Sharma, Tom Curran, Reece Topley

Punjab Kings Squad: Shikhar Dhawan(c), Jonny Bairstow, Prabhsimran Singh, Sam Curran, Jitesh Sharma(w), Liam Livingstone, Shashank Singh, Harpreet Brar, Harshal Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh, Rilee Rossouw, Tanay Thyagarajan, Harpreet Singh Bhatia, Vidhwath Kaverappa, Chris Woakes, Rishi Dhawan, Sikandar Raza, Ashutosh Sharma, Atharva Taide, Nathan Ellis, Shivam Singh, Prince Choudhary, Vishwanath Singh

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