Royal Challengers Bangalore, high on batting rhythm and home support, will be wary of Victoria Bushrangers as the teams gear up for Thursday’s critical second phase League ‘B’ match of the Airtel Champions League here.
The Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch has largely stayed firm despite hosting a spate of matches in recent times and that might offer some encouragement to the Bushrangers.
Cameron White’s men were hassled by the two-paced nature of the freshly-laid surface at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi where the first phase Group ‘D’ matches were held.
The inconsistent nature of the pitch was reflected in Bushrangers’ performance, as it defeated Delhi Daredevils without fuss while chasing a modest 98 but failed to get past Wayamba Elevens’ 118.
Though openers Rob Quiney and Brad Hodge have come up with cameos, David Hussey is yet to fire. All-rounder Andrew McDonald’s unbeaten 27 ensured that his team pipped Wayamba in Net Run Rate despite losing the match.
The bowling department, which features the likes of Peter Siddle, Shane Harwood and McDonald, has delivered the goods so far. However, it is yet to be tested against belligerent batting, the kind Royal Challengers has in its ranks.
Anil Kumble’s men have scored 180 and 188 in their two games, thanks to the top-order firing in unison.
Robin Uthappa, Jacques Kallis, Virat Kohli and Rahul Dravid have all had useful knocks while Ross Taylor has provided the acceleration with some big hits.
The bowlers, too, have largely done the job though J.P. Duminy’s unbeaten 99 in the opening match for Cape Cobras did catch the home team off guard.
The second phase matches will test all the teams and Kumble’s men, who clawed back from the brink to reach the Indian Premier League final in South Africa, do have the ability to cope with pressure. The game against Bushrangers will provide a pointer to which way the team is headed.
White ready for ‘home’ challenge
It is a home-coming of a different nature for Cameron White as the Victoria Bushrangers’ captain will play against his IPL team Royal Challengers Bangalore here on Thursday. However White is ready for the contest.
“Yes it is exciting to be here and it is a challenge. I am looking forward to playing in this fantastic venue with its large crowds. The Challengers have some very good batsmen and yes Robin Uthappa and Ross Taylor have scored well and we do have some plans,” White said.
Expects better pitch
He added that he expected a better pitch at the Chinnaswamy Stadium when compared to the track in Delhi. “The pitch was a bit low and slow and was difficult to score and we hope for a better one here. I know the crowds will be loud and once the home team is on a roll, it can get a bit intimidating. I have told the young guys and we will try and do the best we can,”
“The competition has been good so far and in a couple of days only four teams will remain and we need to perform well,” said White.