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The two points on offer in Match 57 of DLF IPL 2012 will be more critical for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (who are in contention for a place in the playoffs) than to their hosts, Pune Warriors India (who are in the bottom-half of the table and are not playoff contenders).
RCB have 13 points from 12 matches, and they seem to be finding form at just the right time, after an indifferent start to the tournament. After winning just four of their first ten matches, the 2011 runners-up came up trumps in a close contest against the Deccan Chargers and then decimated the Mumbai Indians in their own backyard. The two consecutive victories have meant that RCB are firmly in contention to be among the four teams who will progress to the playoffs.
Friday, May 11, 2012, 08:00 p.m.
Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune
Four Pune Warriors India players – Robin Uthappa, Sourav Ganguly, Steve Smith and Jesse Ryder – have scored in excess of 200 runs in the season. This clearly indicates that their batsmen have been scoring runs. However, the strike-rate of the first two has been a matter of concern. Uthappa – who has a reputation of being a swashbuckling batsman – has been far from it and has a strike-rate of 115.35. Meanwhile, his skipper has scored his 261 runs at marginally over a run a ball. With only pride to play for, expect the PWI batsmen to be charged up, play freely and express themselves.
RCB’s IPL campaign for the majority of 2011 and all of 2012 has ridden on the shoulders of Chris Gayle. The Jamaican, who was asked by team owner, Dr. Vijay Mallya, to bat for a majority of the innings, has taken the request seriously and has shown the inclination to bat long. In six of the ten innings this season, Gayle has consumed more than six overs. This illustrates just how well he has applied himself, sized up the situation and then opened his broad shoulders to inflict damage on the opposition.
AB de Villiers too has been in sparkling form for the 2011 finalists; the South African comes in to bat after the damage inflicted by “Gayle-storm”. He plays those impact cameos towards the end of the innings, which have proven to be quite useful for his team. Previous Meetings
The Royal Challengers Bangalore emerged victorious in both their previous meetings against the Pune Warriors India last season. On the first occasion, RCB posted 181 for five in their home game and then restricted their opponents to 155 for five to win by 26 runs.
When the two teams met the second time, RCB restricted their opponents to 182 for six, and then chased it down off the very last ball to register a six-wicket victory.
Among players who’ve scored 500 runs or more in the Indian Premier League, Chris Gayle has the highest boundary percentage. 74.28 percent of his 1586 runs have been scored through hits to and over the fence.
56.64 percent of the runs conceded by the Royal Challengers Bangalore this season have been through boundaries; they’ve conceded 164 fours and 67 sixes in the tournament so far.
Pune Warriors India’s next fixture will be against the Rajasthan Royals on May 13, while the Royal Challengers Bangalore will head back home and host the Mumbai Indians on May 14.
CSK bowling coach talks about his team’s chances ahead of RR game
By IPL Staff
Jaipur 10 May 2012
With won point separating the two on the points table, the Chennai Super Kings will take on the rejuvenated Rajasthan Royals at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium tomorrow. Speaking to the media ahead of the match, CSK bowling coach Andy Bichel discussed his team composition and more.
Excerpts from his pre-match press conference:
On the loss against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium
That was chance for us. As a group, we are playing well. [...] I think that only comes back to the individual [to come back]. They [CSK] can bounce back from the loss like that, so that’s the important part for them; [it] is to make sure that they take the good stuff out of the game that did and put in the rest of the season.
On their position in the points table
[...] We would like to be more up the [points] table but it is important how we bounce back as individuals; and that shows character in this team. The test will really be tomorrow night and how we bounce back.
On what went wrong this season
If you take the teams who are at the top of the table [...] [like] [Virender] Sehwag’s [Delhi Daredevils, they] have not only scored runs in the tournament, but they have also finished games – and Kevin Pietersen been part of that. There are number of guys that are playing well, but they are also finishing games . So finishing the games is the one for us that we hadn’t had someone. Faf du Plessis has scored around 380 runs [but] we haven’t had someone that’s just gone out there and finished the game off. There is the chance for our batting group and also a chance for our bowling group [to perform]. In Twenty20 cricket, there is one every game that you play. But I think [in the] process [if we would have] more consistency, [it] would be a lot better for us throughout this tournament.
On Michael Hussey
[...] if you look at Mike Hussey last year, his influence on the squad at the top of the order was the same influence that Shane Watson has had since he has arrived [in the Rajasthan Royals squad]. They are that sort of players, doing well on the world stage coming in and […] into the IPL. They have heavily influenced the teams. [Rajasthan Royals] have covered that well. [...] Brad Hodge has done very well and Shane [Watson] has come in to complement that and I think that is one of the parts that we have missed a little bit. I think in the sense that Mike, we really missed him on field and more so in the off-field stuff as well.
On whether they have any special plans for Watson
He is a quality player. He has played well in the last twelve months for Australia and in the last year’s IPL as well for Rajasthan. So there is not much room for error against good players. It is a challenge for our bowlers to make sure that they are asking those questions around good length. That’s the one I am setting the right field. [There’s] no set plan. I think, you have little set place here and there that might work. It ultimately comes to the day and to the individual to execute that plan.
On whether they need to add pace to their bowling and team for tomorrow
We have got Dougie [Doug Bollinger]. [...] He is quick and swinging the ball. He has got pace that he has had before. He is up for selection in the team tomorrow. But we will have to wait and see and [also] see what the conditions are again tomorrow [and then decide].