Royal Challengers aim to get back on track against Pune
Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Pune Warriors India
Tuesday, April 17th 8 pm
M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
The Royal Challengers will be seeking their second win of the year when they take on the Pune Warriors at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Tuesday night.
The two have had contrasting campaigns so far, Pune were almost written off but have held their own to win tight games under Saurav Ganguly. Bangalore began as favourites but only have one win and three disheartening defeats to show for it.
Their fifth bowler problem has seen them haemorrhage runs but the batting failure shouldn’t be forgotten. AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle have all played one good knock each but their failure has been responsible for the losses against Kolkata and Rajasthan. Gayle didn’t field against Chennai and looked clearly unfit against Rajasthan, the team has to make the hard decision to play Dilshan ahead of him. de Villiers can continue keeping wicket but must come good with the bat while Dilshan can contribute some much needed second/third change bowling.
Muttiah Muralitharan and Zaheer Khan have been their best bowlers while Daniel Vettori has provided crucial breakthroughs and contained batsmen. Vinay Kumar has been patchy as well but it’s the fourth bowler who has been costly for them with Patel, Bhatkal and Aravind all proving liabilities. Aravind however is a better bowler than his figures on Sunday showed and he should be persisted with. The youngster could do with encouragement and faith; he will have learnt his lessons and will be eager to put in a better performance against the Pune Warriors.
Saurav Ganguly hasn’t been among Pune’s contributors with the bat but he has marshaled his troops brilliantly as they beat some much fancied opponents in tight games so far. His batsmen have mustered just about enough runs while his bowlers have reigned in superior batting sides to clinch close games. They will want to repeat the treatment against Bangalore but on a small ground like the Chinnaswamy they will find it hard to do so.
Rahul Sharma has picked up from where he left off last year with great support from Ashok Dinda, Murali Kartik, Nehra, Mathews and Samuels. Dinda, Nehra and Mathews will love to use the bounce at the ground while Uthappa and Pandey among the batsmen will want to do well at their state homeground.
Steve Smith and Jesse Ryder are two other former Royal Challengers returning to Bangalore. Smith has been a revelation with his batting and fielding while Ryder made a crucial contribution in the successful chase against Chennai.
The odds are with Pune right now but Bangalore made a similar start last year, winning one before losing three of their first four games. They went on to play the final from here and will want to prove their pedigree with a repeat this year.