A Challenging Battle Royale At M Chinnaswamy
Venue: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
Time: 8PM IST
On home turf, RCB look a totally different side in the way they play their cricket. With the backing of the fans, RCB won 7 of the 8 games played here in the previous season. AB de Villiers has done well in the two games at the ground this season and Chris Gayle will be raring to go too after a poor game against KXIP.
Ajinkya Rahane has a ton to remember the Chinnaswamy ground by while Karun Nair and Stuart Binny's familiarity with the ground and conditions make them threats.
Head To Head
RCB and RR have faced each other on 12 occasions with the honour shared at 6 wins apiece.
In the previous encounter between these 2 sides earlier this season, RR’s bowlers had mowed down RCB’s top order and the batsmen had completed a comfortable chase.
RCB’s bowlers were commendable in keeping KXIP to 198/8, given that Yuvraj Singh & Harshal Patel had combined to concede 75 runs in the 4 overs they bowled. Harshal’s place may be under consideration with Ashok Dinda, Shadab Jakati, Abu Nechim or as a last resort, Sandeep Warrier being the alternatives.
RR’s bowlers seemed to be on a roll, taking a second hattrick in two games at Ahmedabad to restrict SRH to 134/9. But the batsmen came undone against discipline from SRH’s bowlers as Dale Steyn, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra and Karn Sharma combined to bowl them out for 102. It will be a hard hitting line-up looking to prove a point emphatically at the Chinnaswamy.
Preview Of The Teams:
RCB need to win all six of their remaining games and at least 5 of them to even contemplate qualifying. Hard calls need to be made on the batting and AB de Villiers’ form has to be capitalized on by promoting him in the order.
RR were the team who kept RCB to 70 in UAE and their recent bowling form suggests they’ve become even more dangerous.
The pressure is on for Virat Kohli and it’s not just his reputation as a batsman on the line but also his reputation as a performer under pressure and ability as captain that he needs to remind opposition of. Mitchell Starc has been one of the most reliable players in the tournament. He often gets the wickets that are needed at crucial junctures and also contributes a lot in the field with some brilliant catches.
Shane Watson will be disappointed that his team lost the previous game despite his hattrick. His own failure to take them across with the bat will push him to make amends at the M Chinnaswamy with its short boundaries and excellent bounce. Having said that, Pravin Tambe has been as good as ever with his incredible display of traditional leg spin bowling.