Race to play offs begins at Delhi
Delhi Daredevils vs Royal Challengers Bangalore
8 pm, Ferozshah Kotla Stadium, Delhi
It is make or break time for the Royal Challengers Bangalore who face the Delhi Daredevils at the Ferozshah Kotla on Friday night.
In what will be an enthralling contest, the match against Delhi is crucial for RCB in their quest for IPL glory.
RCB who are twice former finalists (2009 and 2011) have a poor away record in the 2013 IPL.
With only one win out of their six away games so far, their chances of making the playoffs hang by the thread.
Though batting is definitely RCB’s strength, the loss against Kings XI Punjab has brought to light many shortcomings in the bowling department.
Despite posting a huge total of 190, the RCB bowlers were taken apart by David Miller in the later stages of the match. A repeat of that bowling performance against Delhi on Friday may prove to be fatal as the Sunrisers Hyderabad are close on RCB’s heels vying for that elusive playoff spot.
RP Singh has so far received a long rope given his inconsistency but it was his over against Miller that turned the momentum in the previous game. With the fast bowling stocks RCB have it remains to be seen if he plays in Delhi.
Both RCB and Sunrisers are tied on 14 points each but the latter have a game in hand which may prove decisive in the race for the playoff spot.
The biggest advantage for RCB is the awful form of Delhi who have been the ‘whipping boys’ this season with only 3 wins out of 12 games.
With nothing working for Delhi so far, they just might find the going tough against an in form RCB batting line up which apart from Gayle also has the dangerous AB de Villiers.
RCB should guard against being complacent and watch out for the pacy Morne Morkel, Umesh Yadav and Irfan Pathan, bowlers who may prove to be dangerous.
RCB’s sloppy fielding needs to be improved upon as was evident during the last game against Punjab when a dropped catch handed Miller and Punjab a lifeline.
Virat Kohli unfortunately was the one who put down that catch. He also hasn’t sustained the form he was in earlier in the tournament. What better stage for him to make amends than the city he hails from?
He will want to put his team firmly back in contention for a playoffs spot, leading them to a win with a captain’s knock. His knowledge of the Kotla should help.
The Kotla pitch is usually a slow and low one, often helping Shahbaz Nadeem and if it does play out true to form then spin may play an important role in Friday’s game. Another local lad, Kartik Murali could be crucial for RCB.
So going by RCB’s batting strength and current form, a comfortable win is expected for Virat Kohli’s side!