Harsh Kalan in Mumbai 12 May 2014 - 09:37pm IST
Preview: Match 38 – RCB v DD
Can Virat’s army overcome anxious Daredevils?
Royal Challengers Bangalore host the Delhi Daredevils in Match 38 of Pepsi IPL 2014.
RCB’s campaign has been marred by three consecutive defeats – against Mumbai Indians, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals. In fact, the last time they collected two points was after their home win against Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 4. Since then, they have conceded an average of 192 runs per innings, and have claimed an average of six wickets per game. If they are to qualify, their bowling unit clearly needs to pull up its socks.
DD also have not had the best of homecomings since the UAE leg ended. They have, in fact, not won a single match in the month of May – their last triumph came against Mumbai Indians on April 27 at Sharjah. While they may be all but out of Playoff contention, Kevin Pietersen and co. will want to play for pride and will try to register some memorable wins in the upcoming matches.
Tuesday, May 13, 2014, 8 pm IST
M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru
For a batting line-up like theirs, it must seem implausible for RCB to clock in a 3-6 record in IPL 2014. From Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers to the dynamic Yuvraj Singh, this batting order is as star-studded as it is effective. While they have consistently put up competitive scores, it is their bowling that has let them down. However, they will take heart from the fact that even Yuvraj is rolling his magical arm over and has started getting results. It’s just a matter of time before the full-time bowlers take a leaf out of his book and do the basics right.
Meanwhile, for DD, Kevin Pietersen holds the key at the top of the order. Thanks to his experiment in the last match, when he opened the batting, DD seemed to have addressed their top-order woes. As a result, JP Duminy and Kedar Jadhav can get a solid platform from which they can launch during the late overs.
Notes from previous match
Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rajasthan Royals: RCB will be relieved with the return to form – with both bat and ball – of Yuvraj Singh. The 32-year-old had a woeful run before coming into his own against RR; he struck seven boundaries and seven sixes in an innings that lit up the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium. He was just as destructive with the ball, demolishing the RR top order singlehandedly. The form of the bowlers must be a concern for the coaching staff; Varun Aaron, Mitchell Starc and Ashok Dinda did everything they weren't expected to do in the death overs. They bowled wides, no-balls, were guilty of pitching short and gave the batsmen plenty of room.
Delhi Daredevils v Sunrisers Hyderabad: The biggest positive for DD was the return to form of their captain Kevin Pietersen. The 33-year-old took the brave decision to open the innings and it paid off as he struck the ball beautifully during his brief innings of 35. The areas where DD will want to improve are their scoring rate at the death. Although team was robbed of momentum heading to the final overs, it still isn't acceptable that only 22 runs were added in the final five overs, with the batsmen finding the boundary only once.
RCB and DD have locked horns on 12 occasions in the past. Of these contests, RCB has bagged seven, while DD has emerged victorious on five occasions.
The last time these two teams met in Bengaluru, the match was decided by a Super Over after both teams scored 152 runs in the regulation period. The hosts then prevailed in the one-over contest after they scored 15 runs and restricted the visitors to 11.
RCB-DD contests have usually been run-fests. The average first-innings total from the 12 matches between the two teams is 167.
RCB skipper, Virat Kohli, who hails from Delhi, has an impressive record against the Delhi Daredevils. In IPL 10 innings against DD, he has scored 424 runs at a strike-rate of 139.47 and averages 70.67. In his four most recent innings against DD, his scores read 73*, 65, 99 and 49*.
DD head to Ahmedabad next, to take on the Rajasthan Royals at 8 pm on May 15, whereas RCB head to Ranchi to take on their southern rivals, Chennai Super Kings, at 4 pm on May 18.