One has to wonder what more needs to happen for the Royal Challengers Bangalore to click in this edition of the IPL. You know that your team isn’t in the best of times when they can’t manage to successfully defend 143 even after having the opposition reeling at 7-4.
Such has been the agony of the Royal Challengers Bangalore, as the Virat Kohli led outfit languishes in the bottom half of the points table.
Up next, they are against a side which shows traits not too indifferent from them. The Rising Pune Supergiant have been in a complete mess and that was evident in their comprehensive defeat to the Gujarat Lions at Rajkot on Friday.
With MS Dhoni not clicking and their choice of players being far from ideal, there has been added burden on the likes of Steven Smith and Ajinkya Rahane.
When Kohli and Smith will walk out for the toss on Sunday, fans will be reminded of their infamous clashes not so long ago in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
The last time these sides met, it was on this very ground, where one of the finest knocks in T20 cricket was witnessed, thanks to the ever glowing willow of Virat Kohli. Batting first, the visitors piled on an impressive 191, with Ajinkya Rahane and Saurabh Tiwary amassing fluent half centuries.
In response, it all seemed to be a one-man show, as Kohli’s did the bulk of the scoring. Despite not finding efficient support at the other end, Kohli kept on going, taking the odd risk while also playing with caution.
The death overs made the difference eventually, as Kohli smashed RP Singh to all parts to register a superb century. Thanks to Kohli’s unbeaten 108 off 58 deliveries, the hosts got home with just three balls to spare.
Recent form this season:
RCB: L, L, W, L
RPSG: L, L, L, W
The way Samuel Badree bowled against the Mumbai Indians, he is certain to play RCB’s remaining games in this season. Badree gives the team a definite edge with the new ball as his profound disciple and stump to stump accuracy is next to impossible to negotiate.
Chris Gayle’s form has been a massive headache for the Bangalore-based side, as the Jamaican now looks a pale shadow of his former self. With KL Rahul unavailable for the tournament, the Royal Challengers are deprived of a backup opener.
Previously Rahul along with Kohli provided the team off to solid starts in 2016. That being said, Gayle needs to fire at the earliest before his team gets further decimated in the points table.
RCB Predicted XI:
- C. Gayle 2. V. Kohli (c) 3. AB de Villiers 4. K. Jadhav (wk) 5. M. Singh 6. S. Binny 7. I. Abdullah 8. T. Mills 9. S. Aravind 10. Y. Chahal 11. S. Badree