RCB look for quick turnaround

RCB look for quick turnaround

The Royal Challengers Bangalore have lived up to their reputation of being slow starters. With a solitary win from five games, their campaign in the tenth edition of the league seems like a mirror-image of the previous seasons.’

After having crashed to three straight defeats, Virat Kohli’s men will be desperate to notch a win and find some answers to their growing problems when they face Gujarat Lions at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium (SCA) here on Tuesday.

RCB’s spectacular march to the final last year was the story of the season and they can seek inspiration from the manner in which they staged a memorable comeback from the brink of elimination.

The Challengers had just managed to produce two wins from their first five games last time. Their remarkable recovery then occurred on the back on some exceptional performances, mainly in the batting department. The Challengers are currently placed last in the eight-team table with two points and as they seek a change in fortunes, they would be eager to get rid of their batting woes.

Chris Gayle, Kohli and AB de Villiers – the three pillars of the RCB batting line-up – haven’t fired in unison. The returning de Villiers, following a brilliant unbeaten 89-run knock in his first game, hasn’t been able to convert his starts into big ones. Kohli too struck a half-century in his first match and like he has done in the past, the skipper will be hungry to inspire his team through his batting effort.

Gayle’s poor form has dented RCB’s confidence in a huge manner. The Jamaican has mustered just 60 runs from three games with a highest score of 32. Shane Watson, who is RCB’s option for the off-colour Gayle, has had a forgettable run. Watson has been expensive with the ball and there have been no handy contributions with the bat from the Australian all-rounder.

Out of the two matches at the SCA stadium this season, teams chasing have won the contests. RCB would require more patience and better application from their top batsmen in a chase than they did against the Rising Pune Supergiant in Bengaluru on Sunday.

Their middle-order too has failed to bail the team out out of trouble. Kedar Jadhav, after a scintillating 37-ball 69 in RCB’s second game against the Delhi Daredevils, has gone cold with scores of one, nine and 18. While Stuart Binny has looked good in patches, Pawan Negi has looked out of sorts.

Though it has not been instrumental in scripting wins, RCB’s bowling has been encouraging. While Samule Badree will be their key man, pacers Adam Milne and S Arvind will be aiming to keep things tight and force the batsmen to make mistakes.

The Lions too are struggling to gain momentum. The Suresh Raina-led side are one place above the Challengers with one win from four games. Their strength lies in batting with the dangerous opening duo of Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith capable of destroying any attack. Dinesh Karthik has been in supreme touch while the experienced Ravindra Jadeja and Raina can win matches single-handedly.

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