IPL 2024: Gujarat Titans eye collective improvement against refreshed Royal Challengers Bengaluru

The Titans are now seventh on the table with eight points from nine matches, and they require a victory to float above the growing pile, constituted by Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals who are also on eight points.
Last Updated : 27 April 2024, 09:25 IST
Last Updated : 27 April 2024, 09:25 IST

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Ahmedabad: In need of a total reboot, Gujarat Titans will be wary of Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s newfound firepower in the middle-order when the two teams clash in the Indian Premier League here on Sunday.

The Titans are now seventh on the table with eight points from nine matches, and they require a victory to float above the growing pile, constituted by Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Capitals who are also on eight points.

To begin with, the Gujarat side needs their pacers to step up. Their pace bowling unit has been underwhelming throughout this IPL.

Mohit Sharma (10 wickets, economy: 10.35), Umesh Yadav (7 wickets, 10.55), Sandeep Warrier (5 wickets, 10.85) have leaked runs in plenty while backup quicks such as Spencer Johnson and Azmatullah Omarzai too have not inspired much confidence.

Their spinners – Rashid Khan (8 wickets), R Sai Kishore and Noor Ahmad (6 wickets each) – have been steady without being spectacular.

The troika’s task will be even harder now considering RCB have found a flicker of hope in their middle-order consisting of Rajat Patidar and Cameron Green.

They can take consolation from the fact that dew will not be a significant factor in a day game, but tackling Patidar, in particular, and Green need much more than help from conditions.

After a modest beginning to the season, Patidar has shown smidgeons of his batting skills, especially against the spinners.

He made forceful fifties while tackling Sunil Narine and Varun Chakravarthy (KKR) and Mayank Markande (SRH) in the last two matches while batting through the middle phase.

While his 23-ball 52 carried RCB nearly home against Kolkata, Patidar’s 20-ball 50 came in a winning cause against Hyderabad.

The right-hander, whose strength is his excellent eye-hand coordination rather than innovation, will be eager to make a similar impact against the GT spinners. Green too was impressive during his 20-ball 37 against the Sunrisers that took RCB past the 200-run mark.

It has also helped RCB reduce their dependency on Dinesh Karthik and Mahipal Lomror down the order for a late thrust, besides freeing opener Virat Kohli and Faf du Plessis of the burden of scoring in almost every match.

The GT batters would also like to take a cue from their RCB counterparts.

Sai Sudharsan and skipper Shubman Gill have scored upwards of 300 runs in this IPL, making three combined fifties, but the GT middle-order has not really been able to do a follow-up act.

The likes of David Miller (138 runs), Shahrukh Khan (30), Vijay Shankar (73) and Rahul Tewatia (153) have had fleeting moments but failed to carry on.

The home side will require a heftier contribution from them against the RCB bowlers, who were on the money against SRH while defending 207.

Their frontline pacers Mohammed Siraj (4-0-20-0) and Yash Dayal (3-0-18-1) were exceptional against a heavy-duty batting line-up, keeping it guessing with clever variations even on a smooth HCA Stadium surface.

Leg-spinner Karn Sharma and part-time pacer Green picked up four wickets equally among them to support their lead bowlers.

So, in a day-game they might be hoping for an even more improved show against a vacillating batting unit of GT.

Teams (from): RCB: Faf du Plessis (c), Glenn Maxwell, Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Anuj Rawat, Dinesh Karthik, Suyash Prabhudessai, Will Jacks, Mahipal Lomror, Karn Sharma, Manoj Bhandage, Mayank Dagar, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Akash Deep, Mohammed Siraj, Reece Topley, Himanshu Sharma, Rajan Kumar, Cameron Green, Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal, Tom Curran, Lockie Ferguson, Swapnil Singh, Saurav Chauhan.

GT: Shubman Gill (c), David Miller, Matthew Wade, Wriddhiman Saha, Kane Williamson, Abhinav Manohar, B. Sai Sudharsan, Darshan Nalkande, Vijay Shankar, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Tewatia, Noor Ahmad, Sai Kishore, Rashid Khan, Joshua Little, Mohit Sharma, Azmatullah Omarzai, Umesh Yadav, Shahrukh Khan, Sushant Mishra, Kartik Tyagi, Manav Suthar, Spencer Johnson, Sandeep Warrier, BR Sharath.

Match starts at 3:30 pm.

Published 27 April 2024, 09:25 IST

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