This promises to be an entertaining contest as the master and the apprentice of Indian cricket face off in Bengaluru tomorrow night. Virat Kohli clearly being the apprentice after playing under his skipper MS Dhoni for quite some time, it appears the RCB captain is turning into a master himself after taking over the International captaincy and leading from the front just like Dhoni did.
After defeating the dismal-Daredevils in their last outing, the Royal Challengers need one more win to break even with their win-loss ratio which currently sits at 2-3 after five games into the 2018 IPL. With both star players Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers each firing in the past two matches with the willow, it looks as if Bangalore are ready to turn a blind eye to their underwhelming-form to start the tournament and focus on the remainder of the fixture. Kohli’s unbeaten 92 against Mumbai & de Villiers rapid-fire 90 not out against Delhi were two of the major highlights for RCB in IPL 11 so far, but I can’t help but think that the reliance on those two superstars is so huge that one minor slipup could just about see their playoffs aspirations capitulate. That calls for the rest of their team to step up, apart from Mandeep Singh the batting performances have been abysmal up until this point in the tournament. South African wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock has almost been a waste of spot in the team as an overseas player, despite his obvious class & potential he’s scored just 112 runs from five matches as RCB might opt for a change at the top, perhaps Brendon McCullum who was harshly-dropped after his third game for his new team. After such a bright start to IPL 11 claiming 8 wickets, Bangalore look determined to keep playing Chris Woakes who to his credit has backed up last season’s stint with the Knight Riders very-successfully. It’s been Woakes and Umesh Yadav who have combined-brilliantly as the fast-bowling duo claiming a total of 16 wickets between them, pace seems to be the theme at Bangalore this season with the batting department is some desperate need of a restructure.
After an extended period of time on the sidelines, the Chennai Super Kings welcomed back star-batsman Faf du Plessis which has undoubtedly added an enormous amount of batting power to an already-flavourful line-up featuring some of the best T20 players the world has to offer. After all-rounder Shane Watson struck a century against Rajasthan and Suresh Raina made a successful comeback with scores of 46 & 54* in Chennai’s past two matches, the top order looks in peak-condition with the added bonus of du Plessis slotting in there as well. Chennai’s position on the standings has been reflective of their high-standard of cricket that’s been played so far in IPL 11, unlike RCB they’ve had numerous contributors in each & every match with both bat and ball which tells you a lot about this team, they’re a guaranteed top-3 finish in 2018 if they keep playing this brand of cricket. Former Mumbai Indians batsman Ambati Rayudu has slotted into this team perfectly as well, he’s averaging 40.20 and just recently scored 79 in their win against Hyderabad. This team has unbelievable batting depth as well, it goes without saying that Sam Billings, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja are reliable lower order run-scorers when given the opportunity, MS Dhoni being the best of them given his ability to finish an innings with boundaries in a flurry. That man just mentioned Ravindra Jadeja has played very-little part in IPL 11 with the ball, leaving it up to the likes of Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur and the all-rounders in Shane Watson and Dwayne Bravo to make an impact with the odd couple of overs for Jadeja and the spinners. There’s just too much going on in this Super Kings outfit to even contemplate them losing a game like this, RCB haven’t exactly proven their worth in 2018 which should make Chennai the outright favourites tomorrow night.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Royal Challengers Bangalore | 24th match | Bengaluru
- Virat Kohli
- AB de Villiers
- Umesh Yadav
- Yuzvendra Chahal
- Mandeep Singh
Wildcard pick – Corey Anderson
Top 5 fantasy picks | Chennai Super Kings | 24th match | Bengaluru
- MS Dhoni
- Deepak Chahar
- Suresh Raina
- Faf du Plessis
- Imran Tahir
Wildcard pick – Shardul Thakur
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Everyone’s been expecting it, is it finally time to bring in Parthiv Patel for the struggling-de Kock? RCB have persisted with the South African wicketkeeper-batsman hoping that he’d repay them with a big score, but it just hasn’t happened. If de Kock was to be left out, that could give Brendon McCullum another chance to show team management just how bigger mistake it was leaving him out, he’s had his fair share of success for Chennai in previous IPL seasons and would be tingling to do well against his old side. Seamer Mohammed Siraj has gone wicketless in his two IPL matches since being brought in and could possibly make way for Kulwant Khejroliya, while Tim Southee awaits his opportunity with Chris Woakes acting as the specialist overseas fast bowler.
Chennai Super Kings
Chennai appear to be in a luxury position to do what they want with their team now, and given how successful they’ve been in IPL 11 it seems odd that the playing XI would make any drastic changes from their last match. The only change for the Super Kings that is expected to take place tomorrow night is spinner Imran Tahir returning to the playing XI after illness ruled him out of the Sunrisers Hyderabad clash on Sunday.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (possible) – 1. Quinton de Kock/Brendon McCullum 2. Manan Vohra/Parthiv Patel 3. Virat Kohli © 4. AB de Villiers 5. Corey Anderson 6. Mandeep Singh 7. Washington Sundar 8. Chris Woakes/Tim Southee 9. Umesh Yadav 10. Mohammed Siraj/Kulwant Khejroliya 11. Yuzvendra Chahal.
Chennai Super Kings (possible) – 1. Shane Watson 2. Faf du Plessis 3. Suresh Raina 4. Ambati Rayudu 5. MS Dhoni (c & wk) 6. Dwayne Bravo 7. Ravindra Jadeja 8. Deepak Chahar 9. Karn Sharma 10. Shardul Thakur 11. Imran Tahir.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.