DATE: 11th May, 2014
VENUE: M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore
TIME: 20:00 (IST)
Coming from losses, both teams will be looking to win this one. While Rajasthan Royals were overwhelmed by Sunrisers Hyderabad on the back of an inspiring bowling performance in their last match, Royal Challengers Bangalore were crushed by 32 runs in a match against Kings XI Punjab.
Led by feisty¬Virat Kohli, Bangalore are struggling to keep their chances alive in the contest, having already suffered five defeats in eight games to be placed sixth, while Rajasthan are placed third in the points table with five wins and three reverses in the eight-team tournament.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have to address their batting woes. In three of their last four matches, RCB have lost two of their top three batsmen to single-digit scores and have not had any kind of momentum in their innings. With the competition for Playoffs spots getting intense, it is about time the likes of¬Chris Gayle¬†and Virat Kohli – who are yet to score a half-century this season – start getting the big runs under their belt. There is no doubt that Gayle and Kohli are under pressure. But both players need to believe that a good knock is just around the corner.
Having failed to exploit their home advantage to get back the momentum, Bangalore’s famed batting lineup will hope to click against the dogged Rajasthan. RCB started off well, winning their first two games, and that too, without Chris Gayle, but things went awry after that as they suffered three reverses in the UAE. Having come back after missing Bangalore’s first four games due to a hamstring injury, Gayle has been explosive in short stints and is looking for that big one. Skipper Kohli has appeared off-colour in the last few games and the 25-year-old would also be eager to get a big score. Yuvraj Singh, who was bought for a whopping Rs 14 crore by team owner Vijay Mallya, has not been able to live up to the billing.¬AB de Villiers, who blazed away with another heroic effort smashing 53 off 26 balls in a losing battle against Punjab, would look to continue this devastating form in the remaining six matches. RCB’s bowling attack looks balanced with pacer Varun Aaron (12 wickets), Mitchell Starc (11) and leg-spinner¬Yuzwendra Chahal¬†(10) up their rank. Leg-spinner Chahal has been the surprise package for RCB. Apart from the one against Hyderabad, he has picked up wickets in every game.
The Rajasthan Royals would have hopefully learnt their lessons after the debacle that was their previous outing. And the two players who will possibly assume more responsibility from hereon will be skipper Shane Watson and opener Ajinkya Rahane.
On the other hand, having lost to Hyderabad in their last encounter, Rajasthan would like to get back their winning momentum.¬Shane Watson¬†has been the key man in Rajasthan setup and it will be no different this time around. The Aussie, who bagged three wickets for 13 in the last match, will look to get a big score with the willow, after having managed just 11 runs against Hyderabad. The young¬Karun Nair¬†has shown promise at the top of the order and Rajasthan can expect a lot from him.¬Ajinkya Rahane, who went for a duck in the last game, would look to get into the groove big time against Bangalore. For the opposition bowlers, there is also the talented¬Sanju Samson¬and Steven Smith. The 42-year-old leg-spinner¬Pravin Tambe¬†continues to catch attention with his impressive performance. Even with the ball, Watson always has been in the thick of action. Rajasthan bowlers showed a lot of character when they restricted Hyderabad to 134 for nine before eventually losing the game.
Both RCB and RR prefer chasing. RCB has a 56 percent success record in run-chases, while RR have a 63.5 percent success record while batting second.
Players to watch out for:
Virat Kohli: Injured tiger, skipper Kohli will be in a fierce mode when he takes the field on Sunday. He will be looking to score a lot of runs for his team taking advantage of home-ground.
Pravin Tambe: The veteran spinner will be looking to stop the biggest batting line-up from scoring runs in bizarre fashion.