Royal Challengers hope to get their act together against Knight Riders

Royal Challengers hope to get their act together against Knight Riders

Royal Challengers hope to get their act together against Knight Riders

Nothing seems to be going right for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Having suffered four defeats in six games in their IPL-9 journey so far, the Challengers are in need of a major turnaround.

Their bowling worries have only multiplied with each game and the constant changes in the team combination hasn't helped them find their groove.

After a poor record in their four straight away matches, where they managed to eke out just one win, RCB are back home and when they face the Kolkata Knight Riders here at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Monday, there will be very little room for error for the Bengaluru side.

On Sunday against Sunrisers Hyderabad, RCB bowlers once again failed to fire in unison, with Kane Richardson and Harshal Patel conceding plenty. Skipper Virat Kohli's decision to persist with Harshal over all-rounder Stuart Binny has largely backfired. Binny's all-round skills hasn't been exploited completely and the 31-year-old would be keen to make a mark in front of his home ground, if handed a chance on Monday.

RCB raised a few eyebrows when they left out Chris Gayle on Sunday.

Richardson’s presence in the side reflected RCB’s intentions to strengthen their bowling attack but the Australian medium pacer was expensive in his four overs, giving away 45 runs for his two wickets. Richardson hasn’t stepped up as RCB’s frontline bowler and to keep him in the side at the expense of Gayle, who enjoys a great record at the Chinnaswamy, could prove dangerous for RCB.

The Challengers’ top order continues to remain solid and in addition to the consistent Kohli and AB de Villiers, KL Rahul’s good run has been a plus. The Karnataka opener has notched up two back-to-back half-centuries and has been successful in providing good starts for his side.

However, the wobbly middle order means RCB lack a strong finisher in their batting line-up. The omission of Sarfaraz Khan for Sachin Baby on Sunday was puzzling, as the latter, along with Kedar Jadhav struggled to keep the momentum post the dismissal of De Villiers.

The Knight Riders, placed third on the table, have suffered twin setbacks following a three-match winning streak. Despite the slight slump in their form, the Kolkata unit appear a lot more complete team than RCB.  The Knight Riders bat deep and with Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir in fine touch at the top, RCB cannot afford to let both the batsmen off to a strong start.

Boasting of worthy all-rounders in Andre Russell, Yusuf Pathan and Shakib Al Hasan, the two-time champions have enough firepower in them to upstage the hosts. The Knight Riders would also be hoping for comeback man Sunil Narine, one of the key options in their bowling attack, to challenge the strong RCB batting line-up.

Lying a lowly seventh with just two wins, the Challengers have all the reasons to go hard at their opponents while the Knight Riders will be looking to get back to their winning ways in what promises to be cracking contest. 

 

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