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Preview: M5 - RCB vs DD

Injury-plagued RCB, DD search for first points

preview rcbvsdd.jpg

What

The Delhi Daredevils will make their first appearance in VIVO IPL 2017 when they clash with Royal Challengers Bangalore in Match 5.

RCB were without the services of their regular captain Virat Kohli and the dangerous AB de Villers in the opening match of the season, and ended up on the losing side. That the top-score for RCB in the opener was Chris Gayle’s 32 illustrates how poor the batsmen were. The bowling left a lot to be desired in that opening match; despite receiving plenty of stick, the RCB bowlers persisted with the short delivery theory and were duly taken to the cleaners by Yuvraj Singh and company. The only impressive performance among the RCB bowlers on that night was the leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, who conceded only 22 runs in his four overs. RCB will need a much-improved all-round performance if they hope to get their first points on the board from this contest.

The balance of the DD side is lop-sided, in that the team has several world-class quick bowlers and reputed all-rounders, but doesn’t have too many quality options to choose from among specialist batsmen. The injury to Quinton de Kock, who has been ruled out of the entire season, and Shreyas Iyer’s illness, has resulted in further weakening of batting resources available to DD. On the eve of the match, there was uncertainty surrounding the availability of Rishabh Pant too. It will be interesting to see if DD, given the apparent lack of depth in the batting, field all three overseas all-rounders – Corey Anderson, Carlos Brathwaite and Chris Morris – in the XI.

When

08 April 2017, 2000 Hrs IST

Where

M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru

The Protagonists
If it is IPL and if the match is in Bengaluru, one shouldn’t look beyond Chris Gayle. The Jamaican is loved in these parts and he in turn loves playing on this ground. The stats tell the story best; at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Gayle has scored 1502 runs, has 3 IPL hundreds, and has 9 man of the match awards. All this, from 39 outings at the venue.

Match within the match
Chris Gayle against Zaheer Khan promises to be an interesting contest. Zaheer has the happy knack of dismissing left-hand batsmen early on, and he has had the wood on Gayle previously; in international cricket contests Zaheer has dismissed Gayle on 8 occasions, while in the IPL he has sent Gayle back on three occasions.

Keep an eye on the contest between the two leg-spinners too - Amit Mishra and Yuzvendra Chahal. Both players represent Haryana in domestic cricket and have gone on to play for India. Amit Mishra is the senior leg-spinner and has seen Chahal grow under him. In recent times, Chahal’s stock has risen rapidly – particularly in the limited overs formats.

Head to Head
Overall: Matches played – 17, RCB Won – 10, DD Won – 6, No Result – 1
In Bengaluru: Matches played – 7, RCB Won – 3, DD Won – 3, No Result - 1

Trivia
Yuzvendra Chahal is the highest wicket-taker in IPL matches in Bengaluru. Despite the venue earning a reputation as a bowler’s nightmare over the years, Chahal has actually performed better at Bengaluru than he has at other venues. Chahal has taken 30 wickets in 21 IPL matches at Bengaluru, as against 27 wickets in 23 matches he has played at other venues.

What Next

RCB head to Mohali next, for their away fixture against Kings XI Punjab; they will be seen in action on April 10. Delhi Daredevils meanwhile head to Pune for their away fixture against Rising Pune Supergiant, scheduled to be played on April 11.