IPL 2019 | History on Their Side, Glum Bangalore Search First Points Against Delhi

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: April 7, 2019, 7:31 AM IST
IPL 2019 | History on Their Side, Glum Bangalore Search First Points Against Delhi

For 37-odd overs in the last game against Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore would have firmly harboured hopes of securing their first points at the IPL 2019 and get their campaign finally kick-started. Andre Russell though had other ideas. In a whirlwind knock, the Jamaican plundered 48* in a mere 13 balls to dent Bangalore's hopes and consign them to a fifth straight defeat.

How Bangalore come back for such an onslaught will in a lot of ways define their character. They have a turnaround time of just a day to gather their thoughts as they get ready to host Delhi Capitals on Sunday (April 7). Delhi, themselves are coming off two successive losses so both teams are in need of momentum and will certainly fancy their chances on a batting beauty that is M Chinnaswamy Stadium.

If history is anything to go by Bangalore will not find a better opposition than Delhi to help them get out of this rut. The two teams have met 21 times at the IPL and Bangalore have won 13 of those encounters. Delhi have taken home 7 while one game was washed out. Bangalore have won five out of their last five encounters against Delhi and considering their current situation, there's nothing more they will wish than for this trend to continue.

It's not going to be easy though. Delhi are a stronger, better unit this time around packed with abundance of talent who will be itching to stage a comeback after two crushing losses. Against Kings XI Punjab they lost seven wickets for eight runs to lose by 14 runs after seemingly cruising in the chase. In the last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Delhi batsmen suffered on a sluggish Kotla pitch which was described as the "by far the worst this season" by Ricky Ponting, the head coach.

In some ways, the Delhi batsmen will be glad to play on a surface that has true bounce and carry. M Chinnaswamy Stadium is considered to have the best batting surface in the country and the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant will want to cash in the opportunity against a Bangalore attack which, to put it mildly, has looked timid. The last time Pant played on this surface in an IPL game he smashed 85 in 48 balls. Delhi will certainly wish for Pant to come out with the same belligerent approach.

As far as Bangalore are considered, they have looked out of ideas. Kohli and AB de Villiers entertained the home crowd in a 108-run stand against Kolkata as the hosts amassed 205/3. The total looked safe till about the 17th over of the defence before Andre 'the giant' took centre stage and in nine scoring shots, stunned the home crowd into silence and took his side home.

Kohli came down hard upon his bowlers post the match saying, "the last 4 four overs that we bowled was just unacceptable." His anger is justified. Despite the spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Pawan Negi pulling things back, the pacers just couldn't hit a right length. Factor this - Chahal and Negi together bowled 7.1 overs and returned combined figures of 3/45. The pacers - Tim Southee, Navdeep Saini, Marcus Stoinis and Mohammed Siraj - bowled 12 overs and gave away and whopping 159 runs for two wickets.

With such a quick turnaround, the surface is unlikely to change much and is rather expected to deteriorate further. Will Kohli opt for Washington Sundar or Prayas Ray Barman and play three spinners for a pacer? Or will Kohli add more batting depth? There are a lot of questions and not a lot of time for the team management to answer. But, one thing is for certain this game against Delhi is absolutely vital for Bangalore because if they lose this one too, it will be a really hard climb thereon.

Players to watch out for

Rishabh Pant: The left-hander has an excellent record at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium. The true bounce and lack of seam movement make the surface ideal for his kind of shot-making. Add to that the confidence of Bangalore bowlers which has nose-dived rather alarmingly, Pant will definitely want to make merry come Sunday.

Virat Kohli: The captain is angry, there's no doubt in that. He has not minced words at post-match press conferences be it for his bowlers or the umpires. If there is one player that takes his game a notch higher when annoyed, it is Kohli. He compiled a blistering 84 in the last game against KKR but still admitted his dismissal came at a wrong time for the side. He is hurt and hungry for runs- that is a dangerous combination as far as Kohli is concerned, so watch out Delhi!

Team News/Availability

Royal Challengers Bangalore: While the batting has largely delivered so far, the same cannot be said about the bowlers. Barring Negi in the last game and Chahal, the rest of the bowling has been insipid. Mohammed Siraj has looked way out of sorts and Kohli might bring in Kulwant Khejroliya in his place. Tim Southee could also make way for Nathan Coulter-Nile, who has been in good form of late.

Delhi Capitals: Despite the loss, Delhi gave a good account of themselves against Hyderabad and might not want to tinker with the combination just yet.

Probable XI

RCB: Virat Kohli(c), Parthiv Patel(w), AB de Villiers, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Akshdeep Nath, Pawan Negi, Tim Southee/Nathan Coulter-Nile, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj/Kulwant Khejroliya

Delhi: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer(c), Rishabh Pant(w), Colin Ingram, Chris Morris, Axar Patel, Rahul Tewatia, Kagiso Rabada, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ishant Sharma

Full Squads:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers, Parthiv Patel (WK), Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Shivam Dube, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Heinrich Klaasen (WK), Moeen Ali, Colin de Grandhomme, Pawan Negi, Tim Southee, Akshdeep Nath, Milind Kumar, Devdutt Padikkal, Gurkeerat Singh, Prayas Ray Barman, Kulwant Khejroliya, Navdeep Saini, Himmat Singh.

Delhi Capitals: Ishant Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Colin Ingram, Trent Boult, Axar Patel, Shreyas Iyer (c), Kagiso Rabada, Rahul Tewatia, Rishabh Pant (wk), Keemo Paul, Prithvi Shaw, Amit Mishra, Colin Munro, Jalaj Saxena, Harshal Patel, Hanuma Vihari, Bandaru Ayyappa, Ankush Bains, Avesh Khan, Nathu Singh, Sandeep Lamichhane, Manjot Kalra, Sherfane Rutherford
First Published: April 6, 2019, 7:58 PM IST

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