Royal Challengers need to look beyond Gayle

Royal Challengers need to look beyond Gayle

Bangalores chance to avenge defeat to Hyderabad

Royal Challengers need to look beyond Gayle

Royal Challengers Bangalore have piggy-backed on Chris Gayle’s broad shoulders for way too long and will need to come up with a team effort if they are to make a bigger impact in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League.

On Tuesday, RCB have a chance to change that when they host Sunrisers Hyderabad in their return leg match at the M Chinnaswamy stadium.

In Sunday night’s clash against hosts Sunrisers, the Bangalore outfit failed to put on enough runs on board after the fall of the Jamaican and lost out to the IPL’s newest outfit in the Super Over.

Even though skipper Virat Kohli and Moises Henriques managed to score runs at a healthy strike-rate on a slow surface to put on total which looked defendable at one point, RCB will need to overcome their over-reliance on Gayle.

Gayle’s wicket put pressure on the upcoming batsmen and while a couple of them were able to deliver, the rest fell by the wayside, reinforcing the impression that the early fall of the West Indian would mean an inadequate total.

There have been glimpses in the past where RCB have come out good as a unit, but more often than not, if Gayle fails to strike, the team invariably struggles. Much to the big man’s credit, however, he has delivered time and again.

Tillakaratne Dilshan, who has scored a mere 662 runs at an average of 28.78 for RCB in his three years with the franchise, will look to return to form but Kohli has not had too much trouble scoring runs and is the only batsman after Gayle who instils a sense of assurance when he walks out to bat. As for the rest-- Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, Arun Karthik, they need to pull up their socks or will be benched soon.

On the plus side, RCB saw Henriques’ all-round ability first hand on Sunday night and that will certainly bring a cheer to their face.

Possible return

The possible return of AB de Villiers is also something they will be looking forward to. The South African missed the first two matches as he was tied up playing in the domestic league at home. De Villiers will land in the City on the morning of the match and should be up for selection. If selected, the Protean will give RCB the kind of stability in the middle order that the team has been craving for.

While batting has been a concern, the bowling department – led by the wily R Vinay Kumar – has punched above its weight so far.

Jaydev Unadkat has done exceedingly well with the new ball while Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan and Murali Kartik have done the containing job well.

The pick for RCB, however, is Vinay. The Davanagere pacer has bowled exceedingly well in the death overs in both their matches and while his Super Over-effort against Hyderabad did go for runs, RCB would not hesitate to hand him the ball in times of crisis. Zaheer Khan (calf injury) and Ravi Rampaul (knee injury) are likely to miss out once again.

Hyderabad, on the contrary, seem well balanced and look set to pose a stiff challenge to RCB again. Hanuma Vihari’s unbeaten 44-run knock on Sunday night showed that they could rely on a young shoulder if push comes to shove while Dale Steyn is someone they can continue to depend upon.

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