Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai 03 May 2014 - 08:25pm IST
Preview: Match 24 – RCB vs SRH
Royal Challengers hope to bounce back against Sunrisers in familiar settings
Royal Challengers Bangalore will play their first home game of Pepsi IPL 2014 when they host the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Both teams have two wins from five matches, but their journey to four points has been very different. While RCB started with a bang – winning their first two matches – before losing their way in the next three outings, SRH started the tournament with two defeats before recovering to win two of their next three games.
RCB will be glad for the four-day break they’ve had since their last match against Kings XI Punjab at Dubai. This will give them the time to regroup. The wheels seem to have come off RCB’s campaign since their two-run defeat at the hands of Kolkata Knight Riders. Since then, RCB have only managed a total of 194 runs from their matches against the Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab.
In their final outing in the UAE, the Sunrisers Hyderabad got the better of the defending champions, Mumbai Indians. Despite a poor start, SRH recovered to post 172 on the board and then quelled a late charge by Kieron Pollard to win by 15 runs.
Sunday, May 1, 2014, 8 pm IST
M Chinnaswamay Stadium, Bengaluru
No batsman has inflicted more damage on bowling attacks single-handedly than RCB’s Chris Gayle. The Jamaican becomes a completely different personality when he takes the field for RCB. Given how destructive he can be, RCB will hope he plays a big knock to put their campaign back on track. Skipper Virat Kohli is the other important cog in RCB’s plans; the 25-year-old believes in leading by example and he will be keen to get back among the runs after three ordinary innings.
SRH may have found their optimum batting order in the previous match, against MI. Yet, the onus will be on the two overseas pros – Aaron Finch and David Warner – to score the bulk of the runs.
Notes from previous match
Royal Challengers Bangalore v Kings XI Punjab: The biggest positive for RCB was the return of Chris Gayle. Despite not being 100 percent fit, the Jamaican straight away performed his job of hitting bowlers out of the park. RCB will hope he can play longer innings than the seven-ball cameo he dished out last time. Areas of concern will be the form of the top order and finding the best batting order.
Sunrisers Hyderabad v Mumbai Indians: Despite his reputation as a flashy player and a quick run-getter, David Warner – who walked in to bat with the score at 38 for two – showed the inclination to spend time in the middle, build his innings and then step on the accelerator. Warner and KL Rahul applied themselves in the middle and did not lose focus on the task on hand despite the poor start and the mounting pressure. The bowlers did equally well too when it was their turn in the middle; with Kieron Pollard opening his broad shoulders, the SRH bowlers stuck to their strength and did not cave in to the pressure. The form of Amit Mishra will be a worry for SRH; the bowler, who was supposed to be the frontline spinner of the team, has now gone wicketless in the last three matches and has leaked runs at a rate of 10.35. With the tournament back in India, the onus will be on spin bowlers, and SRH will be hoping that Mishra – still stranded on 99 IPL wickets – can get back to his wicket-taking ways quickly.
The first ever meeting between RCB and SRH ended in a scintillating tie that was decided by means of a Super Over. After both teams ended with 130 runs on the board at the end of the regulation 40 overs, SRH prevailed in the Super Over, scoring 20 runs on the board and then restricting RCB to 15 runs.
In the second meeting, RCB registered a convincing seven-wicket victory after they chased down 162 in under 18 overs.
Chris Gayle’s staggering numbers for RCB in IPL matches at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium: 19 innings, 1039 runs, 74.21 average, 173.75 strike-rate, 86 sixes, 8 50-plus scores.
RCB have the best bowling economy rate of all teams in Pepsi IPL 2014
Both Royal Challengers Bangalore and Sunrisers Hyderabad will head west. While RCB will take on the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on May 6, the Sunrisers Hyderabad will visit Ahmedabad for their away clash against the Rajasthan Royals on May 8.