RCB Looking For A Win To Bring Back Momentum
Venue: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
Time: 8 PM IST
5 matches have been played at Dubai in this IPL season so far, and the team chasing the target has won on 3 occasions. The pitch has been a bit two-paced with 2 high scoring matches and 3 matches which did not see as many runs.
Head To Head:
Recent results between the two have been split. KXIP have the slight edge, winning 7 out of the 12 matches played between the 2 sides. The matches have seen big hitting, with Chris Gayle, Adam Gilchrist and David Miller all having hit hundreds in RCB vs KXIP games. In the 12 matches, the team chasing has won on 9 occasions. Also, the batsmen from RCB and KXIP have hit the most centuries in IPL history - 5 each.
RCB had a match to forget and will hope to make amends today. It is a long tournament with matches being played on a frequent basis. Moving on from drubbings is the best thing to do in order to focus on the next match at hand. The batting collapse against RR resulted in a team total of a mere 70. None of the batsmen were able to hold fort; though Kohli tried his best to counter attack. The bowlers were hardly given anything to play with, but they still put up a commendable performance - especially Mitchell Starc and Yuzvendra Chahal. Yuvraj Singh and AB de Villiers have to find their form back in the middle order for RCB to give a tough fight.
KXIP won their previous match against KKR by a comfortable 23-run margin. It was their bowling which came to the fore to claim the victory this time round. Having been pummeled in the initial matches, the KXIP bowling attack looked good in their match against KKR. The batting could not do much - Maxwell and Miller included, inspite of a quick start. This performance of theirs must have given the camp a huge boost as it means that they have the potential to defend small targets too.
Preview Of The Teams:
Chris Gayle’s absence from the playing XI has been a pretty big loss for RCB. His ability to take the match away right at the start of the innings is something that has been lacking. With no official news out yet, there are still clouds of doubt over his selection today. Ravi Rampaul might be the player to sit on the bench if Gayle returns.
The batting order needs to step up to the task. They started off really well in the first 2 matches, but things have become lopsided since then. A lot of the team’s success will revolve around how Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and AB de Villiers handle the middle order. The bowling attack looks sound and balanced. Mitchell Starc has done well in his debut season to give the bowling attack some bite. Varun Aaron’s bowling display has been heartening to watch, with his control improving without a drop in pace. Yuzvendra Chahal has been the surprise package with his amazing abilities as a leg spinner at a young age. He has picked up wickets in every match and has done so while giving away very little.
A lot of KXIP’s progress in the tournament so far can be attributed to the red hot form of Glenn Maxwell. Batting at no. 3 or 4, Maxwell is the current leading scorer in the tournament with his fearless and unabashed striking. He backs himself and plays for the team - 2 qualities which add a lot to a side. David Miller has also proved to be a match winner, often coming in the back end of the innings to turn the tide of the match. Virender Sehwag at the top still looks a bit rusty, but he has been showing glimpses of getting back in touch. Mitchell Johnson has been getting his rhythm back after a toe injury. He would be relishing his chances against Yuvraj Singh - someone who has had a lot of problems against him over the past year or so. With the expertise of Lakshmipathy Balaji and young Sandeep Sharma and his pace add that extra bite to the bowling attack. Even Akshar Patel has made some good contributions with his left arm spin.
Yuzvendra Chahal has bowled economical spells at a regular basis and has also picked up wickets to accompany it. Even experienced batsmen from the international circuit have not found it easy to go after this leg spinner. Mitchell Starc with his brisk left arm bowling has also caused troubles to batsmen with him being amongst the top wicket takers so far. His in-swing to the right hander at good pace is hard to fend off.
Glenn Maxwell has been the centrifugal force of KXIP, with him setting up most of their wins. He takes the attack to the opposition and does not give them a moments rest. Along with being a dominating force with the bat, Maxwell also bowls a few overs of off-break if needed and is a brilliant fielder. Lakshmipathy Balaji with his accuracy and well disguised change of pace has also taken crucial wickets in plenty along with bowling some miserly overs. With Mitchell Johnson finally finding his form back after injury, KXIP are looking all the more dangerous.