Royal Challengers Bangalore, RCB return to their comfort zone as on Tuesday they clash in a crucial match with Kings XI Punjab. A question mark hangs as far as their play-off chances are concerned. In the six matches played last, they have seen four defeats. Now they are at a stage where winning the penultimate contest is a must. If this does not happen, they have no alternative but to win the last match and also all other matches as well. However, many of the players will surely flaunt their favorite, Nike, Addidas and Oakley eyewear during the matches for sure.
The six matches that Bangalore had played were away from home. For this team, a comforting factor would be not to lose a single match even, considering that they would be returning to conditions that are quite familiar to them. It was on April 23rd that the team played at Chinnaswamy Stadium, the last time when Pune Warriors was trounced by 130 runs. They managed to win just two matches at the 6 different venues they had travelled to. Recently, at Ranchi, they were defeated by Kolkata Knight Riders with five wickets and that also on a slow pitch. They were badly hurt by this, besides which Sunrisers Hyderabad got the chance of snatching the fourth position from RCB. On Monday, in an away contest, Mumbai plays Hyderabad.
In the last meeting with their opponent, RCB had the rug pulled from under their feet by David Miller’s hurricane knock. When Bangalore hosts Punjab, it would very much love to return the compliment and on Tuesday, if they do not win, then they would be finding themselves in a hole. To get to the sixteen points, by winning the rest of the three matches, an outside chance too is fancied by the visitors too.
The RCB team is at the fourth position, currently with sixteen points. To make it to the play offs, the remaining two games have to be won by RCB. This is because even KKR with 12 points and Sunrisers Hyderabad with 16 points also stand a chance of qualifying for the games and this is possible if they are able to win the rest of the games.
Virat Kohli, captain of the RCB team expects Chris Gayle, holder of the orange cap to create an explosion with his bat during the game since in the last few matches, he had been quite quiet. Chinnaswamy Stadium has been a great hunting ground for Chris Gayle as this season he has been able to score 427 runs out the 603 scored runs. In the lineup for batting in the RCB team, Kohli has been a vital cog, as well. Depending upon the situation, he has had the ability to shift well. This season, Kohli, the flamboyant cricketer’s highest individual score has been 99 runs and a total score of 521 runs.
As far as instincts for attacking are concerned, Cheteshwar Pujara has worked a lot on this. To his repertoire he has added aerial shots and in his side he has played an important role of sheet anchor. The game was tremendously finished by AB de Villiers. In this game format, he has been able to invent some amazing and great shots.
Another talented cricketer is Moises Henriques, the all rounder from Australia. All the players of the RCB team will need to put in their contribution to win the game. A great job has been done by Vinay Kumar, Murali Kartik and Ravi Rampaul, as far as the bowling front is concerned. However, there are players like Abhimanyu Mithun and Jaydev Unadkat who continue to remain a matter of concern.
The best thing for RCB is that they are up against a team which is not consistent in batting. This year, one of the batsmen, who has always been feared, Adam Gilchrist has not played satisfactorily. In the ten matches he scored just a dismal 162 runs.
Mandeep Singh, Shaun Marsh and David Hussey comprise batting players who have not succeeded as a unit. On many occasions they have let the team down, excluding a few individual performances. Gilchrist has a lot of expectations from Miller like repeating the swash buckling batting he put up at Mohali against RCB. He dwarfed the visitors with an unbeaten 101 runs.
Praveen Kumar’s medium paced bowling attack has been the strength for the Punjab team, besides Bipul Sharma who was included recently, Piyush Chawla, the leg spinner and Manpreet Gony and Parvinder Awana, both medium paced bowlers.