RCB hopes to notch up another win in its quest for a play-off spot

An emphatic win on a trying and turning track at Ranchi against front runners Chennai Super Kings on Sunday evening should certainly have come as a shot in the arm for the Royal Challengers. If every victory adds vim and vigour to a campaign, infused with this fresh optimism in its quest for a place in the top four, the Bangalore side will be keen to quell any threat from Sunrisers’ Hyderabad, as they meet on the latter’s home turf at the Rajiv Gandhi international stadium here on Tuesday.

In contrast, the host slumped to defeat in its recent outing against the Kolkata Knight Riders the same night. The loyalty of its fans was not in doubt though, several of them still holding on to their saffron flags, digesting disappointment even after their side’s third loss on the trot and in their own backyard.

Sunrisers’ newly inducted skipper Darren Sammy was not his usual sunny self, listing several reasons for his side’s poor showing in the match and the season.

Asked if the hoodoo of the home ground being jinxed was catching up with the local squad, the Caribbean cavalier said, “I wouldn’t say jinxed. Last year, we lost only one match here against Chennai. Obviously, the conditions are not the same as last year, where we defended scores like 140 here. But, like I said, we’ve not been consistently good enough and we’ve not played well at home this year.

Was the loss to the Knight Riders in his first match as captain a disappointing start? “When you lose a game, it’s always disappointing whether you’re captain or not. But I thought we didn’t score enough runs on that wicket. It looked like a 150-minimum wicket, but credit to the bowlers – they made a game out of it. We had a chance till the last over. So yeah, it is kind of disappointing.

Batting was deemed to be the Sunrisers’ forte but what had gone wrong? “We’ve just not been consistent enough. We’ve not played well in terms of the two disciplines, three if you take fielding into consideration. In the last game we batted really well, but we didn’t bowl well. In this game (against the Knight Riders) we didn’t bat as well, but we bowled really well to make a game out of a low total. So it’s about doing everything consistently well. So far this season, we’ve been a touch inconsistent.

On the road ahead, he surmised, “We definitely have to win all three remaining games and win it with a good net run rate. And hope others do us a favour. Ideally, that’s not what you want as a cricket team. You want to write your own destiny and not rely on others to help you out. We’ll do what we can do. There are three games left, three difficult games, but we’ll put our best foot forward and see what happens with the other matches.”

Both sides skipped pre-match practice sessions on Monday. With the skies over the twin cities darkened by cloud cover on the contest’s eve, Claudius’ musings in Shakespeare’s Hamlet matched Sunrisers’ predicament: When sorrows come, they come not single spies but in battalions.