After losing from a position of strength in their previous encounter, the diffident Royal Challengers Bangalore will lock horns against bottom-of-the-table Delhi Daredevils in an IPL game in Bangalore on Tuesday.
Bangalore were defeated by some incredible power-hitting executed by Steven Smith (48 off 21) and James Faulkner (41 off 17) and they would like to bounce back by overwhelming the out-of-sorts Daredevils.
The hapless Daredevils, on the flipside, were thrashed by Kolkata Knight Riders in their last encounter after Gautam Gambhir fashioned a strokeful 69.
Led by a feisty Virat Kohli, Bangalore is struggling to keep their chances alive in the contest, having already suffered six defeats in nine games to be placed sixth.
Daredevils, on the other hand, are placed at the bottom of the points table with two wins and seven reverses in the eight-team tournament.
Having failed to exploit the home advantage to get back the momentum, Bangalore’s famed batting lineup will hope to click against the dogged Rajasthan.
Yuvraj, who made a brilliant 83 off 38 balls when the chips were down for Bangalore against Rajasthan batting first, would like to continue the form to keep team owner Vijay Mallya who had bought the Punjab lad for a whopping Rs. 14 crore.
Bangalore’s dismal performance in this IPL is directly related to the massive failures of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli.
Gayle has not yet destroyed any opposition bowlers but would like to get a big one under his belt in the remaining five games. The 25-year-old Delhi lad would also be eager to unleash his talent, which has eluded him so far in the tournament.
AB de Villiers, who is relatively the most consistent batsman in Bangalore with his heroics of 53 and 58 in a losing battle against Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan, would look to continue this brutal form in the remaining five games.
RCB’s bowling attack looks balanced with pacer Varun Aaron (12 wickets), Mitchell Starc (11) and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (11) up their ranks.
Leg-spinner Chahal has been the surprise package for RCB.
Apart from the match against Hyderabad, he has picked up wickets in every game.
Down in the dumps after four consecutive defeats, a beleaguered Delhi has no option but to play for pride in its remaining five games.
Delhi’s hopes to qualify in playoffs were dashed when Sunrisers Hyderabad thrashed them by eight wickets via D/L method in a match delayed by several intermittent showers.
While Daredevils’ batting has been inconsistent in the tournament so far, the patchy and unimpressive performance of the bowlers -- Mohammad Shami, Wayne Parnell, Siddharth Kaul and Shahbaz Nadeem -- has not helped the side’s cause either.
The poor form of their star player and captain Kevin Pietersen has added to Delhi’s misery. Pietersen has just managed 97 runs from six innings which is way below the mark.
Going by his standards, it was definitely not the start Gary Kirsten would have expected from his first coaching assignment with any IPL side.
Belief is something which seems to be missing in Delhi players, who would be looking for inspiration from some quarters to trounce Bangalore on their home turf.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Yuvraj Singh, Mitchell Starc, Albie Morkel, Varun Aaron, Ashok Dinda, Parthiv Patel, Muttiah Muralitharan, Ravi Rampaul, Rilee Rossouw,, Harshal Patel, Vijay Zol, Abu Nechim, Sachin Rana, Shadab Jakati, Sandeep Warrier, Tanmay Mishra, Yogesh Takawale, Yuzwendra Chahal.
Delhi Daredevils: Kevin Pietersen (C), Mayank Agarwal, N Coulter—Nile, Q de Kock, JP Duminy, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, S Kaul, Milind Kumar, Mohammed Shami, S Nadeem, J Neesham, W Parnell, HS Sharath, R Sharma, LR Shukla, R Shukla, R Taylor, Manoj Tiwary, S Tiwary, JD Unadkat, M Vijay and J Yadav.