RCB up against formidable tourists
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Kings XI Punjab
Wednesday, May 2nd 8 pm
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
The Royal Challengers Bangalore will return to familiar pastures at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore to face the scrappy Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday night.
RCB’s three game winning streak was brought to an abrupt halt at Kolkata where they struggled to remove Gautam Gambhir.
The loss brought to the fore some old problems like fielding (Gambhir was dropped on 5 and 13 in the space of 3 balls enroute his 93), lack of penetrative bowling early in the innings and the batting besides Chris Gayle.
The importance of fielders grows manifold on the small ground that is the Chinnaswamy Stadium, the fast outfield will aid the batsmen as well. The pacers need to create more chances not involving the fielders, a wicket to wicket line to cramp up the batsmen will help their economy rates.
Daniel Vettori needs variety in the spin attack with Murali to back up him and KP Appanna. A tough decision will have to be made on Dilshan but the bowling really needs reinforcement and inspiration immediately.
The batsmen, especially Virat Kohli will be relieved to play at home. Gayle scored a ton and took 3/21 the last time he played KXIP at Bangalore, that and his knock against them three weeks ago should relax the big man a little.
They will face an attack bolstered by the return of Ryan Harris. Praveen Kumar, Parvinder Awana, Bhargav Bhatt, Piyush Chawla and Azhar Mahmood have all been great for them with Mahmood reserving his best for the death, they may not even miss Harris in case Gilchrist is fit and returns to the side.
KXIP have fought hard to humble strong teams like KKR, MI and CSK away. Their problem is that they haven’t been able to hold that momentum too long. Shaun Marsh and David Hussey have been their best batsmen with smaller but crucial knocks coming from Mandeep Singh and Mahmood. Gilchrist wasn’t in too good form before his injury but his return could give them the direction they need to stay on course.
The two sides are a part of the mid table scrap and a win could push RCB to 3rd while KXIP could go to 4th with a win. The business end of the tournament approaching, both sides will want to be well placed to push for a top four finish.