Press Esc to close
Sunday 25 June 2017
News updated at 2:57 AM IST

RCB train eyes on a cracking start

Madhu Jawali, Bangalore, April 4, 2013 DHNS 1:03 IST

Possibility of rain a concern as Kohli & Co take on Pontings Mumbai Indians at home

hoping to strike Royal Challengers Bangalores Muttiah Muralitharan bowls during a practice session at the 	M Chinnaswamy stadium. DH PHOTO/ Kishor kumar bolar
If big bucks were a way to buy success then the Royal Challengers Bangalore and, more so, the Mumbai Indians would have ruled the roost in the Indian Premier League.

That after three finals between them (Royal Challengers in 2009 and 2011 and Mumbai Indians in 2010) the two franchises remain without a title in the league’s five-year history shows money alone can’t guarantee you success.

The two high-profile sides, but somewhat underachievers given their resources, run into each other here at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday night in quest of that elusive trophy. A star-studded line-up from either side promises to light up the Bangalore skies provided the rains don’t play a dampner.

To be fair to the Royal Challengers, the Vijay Mallya-owned side has managed to maintain its reputation as one of the major contenders for the title after their disastrous campaign in the inaugural year in 2008. Having finished seventh in the eight-team league under their Icon player Rahul Dravid, Bangalore, since then, have made two finals and a semifinal before finishing fifth the previous season.

While the elevation of Anil Kumble as their captain midway through their campaign in 2009 in South Africa heralded a great turnaround in their fortunes, the ace leg-spinner’s move to induct Chris Gayle, who had remained unsold in the auction before the 2011 edition, into their set-up provided their batting a lethal edge. Kumble now has moved on to the Mumbai camp as its Chief Mentor and along with coach John Wright and assistant coach Robin Singh, forms perhaps the best think-tank in the IPL.

Under the red and gold colours, Gayle has clobbered an astounding 1341 runs in two seasons, including three centuries and nine half-centuries. As much as his presence forces the opponents work overtime to blunt his effectiveness, there is a sense of overdependence on the Jamaican. In a team that also boasts the likes of AB de Villiers, Virat Kohli and Tillakaratne Dilshan, it’s a bit of a shame that so much should depend on one man’s performance. Their newest skipper Kohli, along with coach Ray Jennings, would surely have cracked their heads to fix the problem.

Bowling, which was a bit inconsistent, has seen a clutch of reinforcements. RP Singh, Pankaj Singh, Jaydev Unadkat were bought in the last auction along with West Indies’ Ravi Pampaul and Christopher Barnwell. RCB also acquired Aussie all-rounder Moises Henriques, a dark horse who can provide the much-needed balance to the side.

Striking balance in the bowling will be crucial for the hosts. There is still a fitness concern over pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, who will not be available for the first two matches, but R Vinay Kumar, their most prolific wicket-taker — at the same time their most profligate — will be in their starting line-up along with their most effective Muttiah Muralitharan. Accommodating left-arm spinner Daneil Vettori will again be a challenge though the absence of de Villiers for the opening match may just strengthen his case.

Both Muralitharan and Vettori are among bowlers with best economy rates and their presence may just slow down the big hitters in the Mumbai camp which possesses the likes of Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Smith and Ambati Rayudu. Sachin Tendulkar, with his busy methods, is a perennial threat, while their skipper Ricky Ponting, though past his prime, can be dangerous on his day. However, the absence of slinging sensation Lasith Malinga due to a sore back may take much of the sting away from their attack.

There is, however, no dearth of replacements in the Mumbai squad. Mitchell Johnson, Munaf Patel and Dhawal Kulkarni can be more than handy while a clutch of all-rounders provide their captain plenty of options.

Go to Top

Photo Gallery
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa speak...

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left and Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa speak...

Shiv Sena workers protest against and torch the photos of separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq...

Shiv Sena workers protest against and torch the photos of separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq...

Police escort escaped prisoner Sayed Mohammed Said from India folowing his capture and return...

Police escort escaped prisoner Sayed Mohammed Said from India folowing his capture and return...

People revel in, and birds flock fly about the high tide at the Marine drive, in Mumbai on...

People revel in, and birds flock fly about the high tide at the Marine drive, in Mumbai on...

Hindu devotees give money to a decorated elephant outside the Jagannath temple on the eve of the...

Hindu devotees give money to a decorated elephant outside the Jagannath temple on the eve of the...

Demonstrators walk behind a police officer during an anti-fascist march, in central, London...

Demonstrators walk behind a police officer during an anti-fascist march, in central, London...

A burning stunt man can be seen during a press viewing of the Stoertebeker Festival on the...

A burning stunt man can be seen during a press viewing of the Stoertebeker Festival on the...

A Dassault Rafale fighter takes part to a flying display during the 52nd Paris Air Show at...

A Dassault Rafale fighter takes part to a flying display during the 52nd Paris Air Show at...

Jools Holland performs on the Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury...

Jools Holland performs on the Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury...

People move around themselves fire's torch during the San Juan night in the small Pyrenees...

People move around themselves fire's torch during the San Juan night in the small Pyrenees...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.