Royal Challengers prepare to raise their game in round two

Bangalore to clash with Victoria on Thursday


The local outfit radiated energy and intention against Volts on Monday with the margin of victory, 80 runs, remarkable in any format of the game. Without a doubt, Jacques Kallis was the lynchpin in RCB’s thumping win, but there were others who contributed, a little less obvious though, to the victory.

Robin Uthappa, Virat Kohli and Ross Taylor produced lively knocks while Anil Kumble and R Vinay Kumar, the paceman who went for a few, picked up two wickets each to support Kallis splendidly.

There was no surprise, then, to hear Uthappa emphasising on the team shaping up well for the challenges in the next round. “This team has gelled well from the beginning. You can’t put up big scores if we were not playing well as a team. In the first game, JP Duminy’s innings changed the match around. It happens in T20 where you get stuck. We have pulled it back now. We were a little hurt by that defeat (in the opener). We are a stronger team now,” the Bangalore lad said.

The hurdles in front of the Challengers will be taller than they faced in the preliminary round. They are placed in League B, with Cape Cobras, Victoria Bushrangers and Delhi Daredevils -- who advanced after pushing aside Wayamba Elevens on better net run-rate -- being the other teams in their group.  As per the tournament rules, RCB do not have to play Cobras, with the latter carrying forward the points they gained from the Bangalore game.

Victoria Bushrangers and Delhi Daredevils are strong teams with experienced T20 players in their ranks. However, RCB will be playing both their League Phase matches at home on October 15 and 17, and Uthappa said that factor could work in his side’s favour. “Playing in front of the home crowd is always an advantage. We are going out there with an advantage and every outing is important,” the Kodava lad said.
However, taking Bushrangers and Daredevils for granted just because of playing in front of home crowd will open the gates to perdition. Uthappa hinted at it, and said the team was prepared for the two outfits.

“It was tough for us in the preliminary rounds. The situation has brought the best in our team. We are hoping we will do the same right here in the League Phase. Up against the wall, you have to go and give the best. Now, every match is crucial, every wicket is crucial, every ball we play is crucial. So hopefully, we can live up to the challenge,” Uthappa said.  The whole of Bangalore will be hoping for the same.

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