Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will face Gujarat Lions (GL) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday. Virat Kohli's side has been having an awful season so far. Therefore their midseason redemption process begins from today evening when they will face Suresh Raina and co. 

One of the most disappointing things in this season has been RCB's batting. Despite having a world class batting lineup, they have failed in most of the occasions. The big names like Chris Gayle, Ab de Villiers and Shane Watson have not fired apart from one or two games. Captain Kohli knows that it will not enough as he needs contribution from everybody in the team to yield positive results.

RCB are unlikely to make any changes to their playing XI. Shane Watson is probably going to sit out once again as Gayle might get the nod ahead of him. Tymal Mills too will be handy on this new Bangalore surface with his back-of-the-hand slower deliveries.    

On the other hand, all eyes will be on Irfan Pathan, who was roped in as the replacement of Dwayne Bravo. It will be interesting to see whether he can deliver for his side in the very first game. Jason Roy too might make his way back into the playing XI in place of Dwayne Smith.

A victory over Gujarat Lions will see them jump to the fifth spot in the IPL 2017 points table. The equation will be similar for the visitors as well. None of the sides would want to give away these crucial points. 

Here are some interesting statistics you need to know before RCB take on GL on Thursday:

## Virat Kohli has an astounding average of 91.00 and maintains a strike-rate of 160.58 against Gujarat Lions. AB de Villiers has even better statistics against the Lions as he averages 228.00 and strikes at 198.26.
## Gayle and Kohli are 43 runs short of becoming the first duo to put together 3000 runs in T20 cricket. 
## Suresh Raina has been dismissed 18 times by the leg spinners, out of which Yuzvendra Chahal has dismissed him four times. 

 

Likely XIs:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (C), Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Tymal Mills, Samuel Badree, Sreenath Aravind, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Gujarat Lions:Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Suresh Raina (C), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Jason Roy, Irfan Pathan, Andrew Tye, Basil Thampi, Shadab Jakati, Nathu Singh.