Baidurjo and Arnab: This is all we have from here as of now. We will be back with the toss and the LIVE blog of the match in 30 mins from now. See you guys.
Arnab: My Likely Playing XI for RCB goes: Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadhav (wk), Mandeep Singh, Stuart Binny, Pawan Negi, Tymal Mills, Samuel Badree, S Aravind, Yuzvendra Chahal
Baidurjo: My Likely Playing XI for GL goes: Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Suresh Raina, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishan Kishan, James Faulkner, Andrew Tye, Basil Thampi, Dhawal Kulkarni, Nathu Singh.
What about RCB?
Arnab: Two teams who have a lot of talent at their disposal and some of them proven match-winners. It should be an interesting battle ahead and looks like a cracker of an evening on the cards. So, who all are you picking for GL in today's game?
Baidurjo: Yes, while Gujarat Lions are surely out of contention for a place in the knockouts, RCB could still make a last-minute entry if the remaining calculations fall in their favour. But for that to happen, it is just as important for the game to happen in the first place, as it is important for RCB to win all the remaining games convincingly.
Arnab: Another important factor for this game will be the weathergods. The wicket is known to help the batsmen, but rain played spoilsport in the last encounter. Will it play wicked again? The forecast says spells of shower. Hopefully it will not be a reality as RCB need to win the remaining games and hope for the right results in other games for Kohli and his boys to harbour any dreams of making it to the knockouts.
Baidurjo: Gujarat Lions' top-order scores at a better strike-rate with opener Brendon McCullum hitting it at 149.15 and one down Suresh Raina scoring at 146.27. Finch too has kept the scoring rate high and boasts of a strike-rate of 154.05.
Arnab: Some numbers that will show why RCB have managed to score at just 6.78 runs per over in the powerplay. Chris Gayle and opening partner Virat Kohli are batting at a strike rate of 129.72 and 131.62 respectively. Similarly, first down AB de Villiers has a strike-rate of 140.77. Need for some quick runs here.
Baidurjo: Yes, something that has baffled me just as much as the other Gujarat fans. Somewhere GL seem to have been very stubborn with the team selection and need to be a little more flexible. For RCB though, flexibility has not helped matters as the foreign players have just not risen to the occasion.
Arnab: Bowling woes have played a big role in GL languishing at the bottom of the table this year. GL look to have missed a trick here because Smith has been a waste down the order and bringing in Faulkner to partner Tye could be a good option. Having both Finch and Smith in the line-up and then playing one in the middle-order has not got GL the desired results.
Baidurjo: The spinners have still done a decent job for RCB with both Badree and Pawan Negi picking 6 wickets apiece at economy rates of 6.16 and 6.14 respectively. GL's spinners too have been very costly with the likes of Jakati going at an economy of 10.40 runs per over and Kaushik going at an economy rate of 9.54.
Arnab: Yes, bowling has been a problem with not just GL, but also RCB. Apart from Chahal who has picked 10 wickets from 7 games at 6.76, he has not got much help. Last year, it was Shane Watson who provided him with the much-needed back-up. But this time, RCB's pace battery has been found wanting. Watson, Mills and Aravind have all been mediocre.
Baidurjo: Yes, Irfan definitely brings the balance in both the batting and bowling department. GL's bowling has left a lot to be desired with just Andrew Tye managing to impress with 9 wickets in 4 games. Praveen Kumar is the next best with 5 wickets in 4 games at an economy rate of 10.32. You cannot win matches without picking wickets.
Arnab: Talking of injuries, Irfan Pathan is the man who has replaced the injured Dwayne Bravo and he could be a handy customer with both bat and ball. He has the experience and he could be the answer to Jadeja who has had a torrid time this season. The left-arm spinner has an economy rate of 9.70 and has picked just 2 wickets in 5 games.
Baidurjo: Yes, they have had injuries, but then, that is the very reason why you have auctions every year, so that you can plug the gaps. Even a team like KKR has missed the services of Chris Lynn due to injury. So, I would say it is more about having a good bench strength. That is an area that the both teams have failed to plug.
Arnab: You have a point there, but injuries have also not helped these two teams. While RCB missed the services of Virat Kohli in the first few games, AB de Villiers too has been bogged down by back injuries. For GL as well, Dwayne Bravo is now officially out and Ravindra Jadeja missed the first few games.
Baidurjo: True. You can never be sure when it comes to the IPL. But these two teams have themselves to blame for their performances. The management has failed to find the right combination going into the second half of the group stages. It is vital to get the basic combination right and that is the very reason why teams like KKR and MI have managed to excel.
Arnab: IPL indeed manages to spring surprises every year. After finishing as runners-up last year, RCB could well end up at the bottom end of the table this year. Similarly, last year's debutants Gujarat Lions too have failed to carry the form they showed last year and have managed to collect just 4 points so far.
Hi, I am Baidurjo Bhose, cricket correspondent of Cricketnext, and I have with me our editor Arnab Sen. Last year’s runners-up RCB are placed 6th in the points table while Gujarat Lions are at the bottom with just two wins in 7 games.
We have decided to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams rather than pitting them against each other.
Hello and welcome to the LIVE preview of Match 31 of the tenth season of the Indian Premier League between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Gujarat Lions in the Match 31 of the Indian Premier League at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
We at CricketNext will dissect the upcoming contest through our statistics based analysis where we discuss which team has greater chances of coming out on top.