A dejected-RCB will have to go back to the drawing board after absolutely butchering a prime opportunity against the Knight Riders last night. Five-consecutive losses in this seasons IPL could prove too difficult to come back from, they can’t afford to lose this upcoming match against the Capitals, otherwise their campaign is well & truly kaput. Delhi are having troubles of their own, they’ve lost three out of their last four games and are no guarantee to get over the line against the winless-Bangalore.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Last night’s post-match interview from Virat Kohli suggested that there was plenty of frustration building in the RCB camp. The skipper voiced his opinion on the disappointing bowling efforts that saw Andre Russell blast Kolkata to victory in the final two overs of the game, and at this stage it’s hard to see Tim Southee and Mohammed Siraj holding their spots in the XI. The pair conceded 15+ runs an over, and Siraj was taken off after 2.2 overs due to his two hip-high no-balls. It was a night to forget for Mohammed Siraj, the seamer conceded 36 runs from just 2.2 overs and dropped two vital catches in the field. On a positive note, Bangalore’s two spinners did a brilliant which begs the question, should they have included a third slow bowler? Pawan Negi didn’t disappoint in his first appearance of the tournament claiming 2/21, and Yuzvendra Chahal extended his lead in the purple cap award by one wicket in a very sharp four over spell. Umesh Yadav was left out of the RCB side after two expensive outings with the ball, not good signs for Mohammed Siraj at all given his last outing.
It was the first time this season that RCB’s batting clicked as a unit, Parthiv Patel and Virat Kohli got the team off to a great start which created a launching pad for the likes of AB de Villiers and Marcus Stoinis who finished the innings strongly. Kohli was unlucky not to reach the three figures, his 84 off just 49 balls signalled to the rest of the competition that he’s back. The same can be said about de Villiers, Mr 360 ended up relying on brute force as he struck four sixes in his entertaining 63. With those two back in the runs, all of a sudden RCB’s five losses isn’t as bad as it seems with their two superstars finding form out in the middle. At the conclusion of the innings, Marcus Stoinis finished with a strike rate of 215.38 which is ultra-handy from the No. 4 batsman. RCB has a genuine opportunity to dig themselves out of this deepening-hole they find themselves in, can they break their winning-drought?
Delhi find themselves on unstable ground as they continue to stumble at crucial times in matches, there past four IPL outings is a prime example of that. A third-consecutive loss could put them in the same boat as RCB, momentum is everything in a tournament like this and you don’t want to be on the other end of it. He’s a great young player and definitely a future superstar, but the inconsistency of Prithvi Shaw at the top of the order is killing the Capitals. Even Shikhar Dhawan’s scores have dropped off significantly since the start of IPL 12, skipper Shreyas Iyer has been the beneficiary of the opener’s slumps with scores of 43, 28 & 43. If ever there was a time to bring in the destructive-Coin Munro, it’s now. He may not exactly fit into their structure, but he’s a genuine game changer at the top of the order and must be given some game time.
They certainly have the batting power to match RCB’s, and their bowling attack is probably the better of the two as well. With a lot more potent wicket-taking options in their line-up, Delhi should be able to curve the influence of RCB’s superstars a lot more effectively than Kolkata did. Kagiso Rabada has picked up 7 wickets in the tournament and is a vital part of this Delhi team, but at the same time he hasn’t exactly impacted as many matches as expected. They still have the Black Caps best white-ball bowler Trent Boult sitting on the bench, he hasn’t featured in the side since the first game. Nepal spinner Sandeep Lamichhane adds a point of difference to this side with a host of other slow bowlers to partner up with, pace off might be the best option against Bangalore. With both teams desperate to close the gap between themselves and the top teams in the competition, expect to see some vibrant cricket on display.
Top 4 fantasy picks – Royal Challengers Bangalore
- Virat Kohli
- AB de Villiers
- Yuzvendra Chahal
- Pawan Negi
Wildcard pick – Moeen Ali
Top 4 fantasy picks – Delhi Capitals
- Shreyas Iyer
- Rishabh Pant
- Sandeep Lamichhane
- Chris Morris
Wildcard pick – Colin Munro
Royal Challengers Bangalore (possible) – 1. Parthiv Patel (wk) 2. Virat Kohli © 3. AB de Villiers 4. Marcus Stoinis 5. Moeen Ali/Heinrich Klaasen 6. Akshdeep Nath 7. Pawan Negi 8. Navdeep Saini 9. Tim Southee/Nathan Coulter-Nile 10. Umesh Yadav 11. Yuzvendra Chahal.
Delhi Capitals (possible) – 1. Prithvi Shaw 2. Shikhar Dhawan 3. Shreyas Iyer © 4. Colin Munro/Colin Ingram 5. Rishabh Pant (wk) 6. Rahul Tewatia 7. Chris Morris 8. Axar Patel/Amit Mishra 9. Kagiso Rabada/Trent Boult 10. Ishant Sharma 11. Sandeep Lamichhane.
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.