RCB look to keep their hopes alive

RCB look to keep their hopes alive

Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils can well empathize with each other. Both are the classic underachievers of Indian Premier League and are in the midst of another terrible season. When they meet at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Saturday, Daredevils will play for pride, and RCB to hold on to the thin ray of hope.

Daredevils’ campaign endured an official burial with their nine-wicket loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday, but RCB are still breathing by clinging on to mathematics and the fate of other teams in the competition. Like Daredevils, RCB too were handed a defeat by Hyderabad in their previous outing, four days ago, when the team failed to chase down a modest 147. The defeat increased their number of losses to seven from 10 matches. In the points table, RCB are a rung above bottom-placed Daredevils with six points.

The bane of RCB has been their batting. It has chiefly revolved around captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers with the likes of Quinton de Kock and Mandeep Singh contributing only in fits and starts. While Kohli is among the leading run-getters this season, he has failed to spur his batsmen to follow the suit.

RCB bowlers too have not been able to click with regularity. Umesh Yadav has done a fine job of picking 14 wickets from 10 matches, Yuzvendra Chahal has been up and down and Mohammad Siraj has made gradual improvement. In fact, some of Kohli's on-field decisions too have come under the scrutiny. Kohli himself has appeared rather frustrated at the string of losses. He had even refused to wear orange cap -- after he topped the list of run-scorers -- post the loss in an away match against Mumbai Indians.

Like RCB, Daredevils too have faced more defeats than win this season. The hosts will need to shake off the crushing defeat at the hands of Hyderabad whose clinical chase undermined the sensational 128 n.o. by wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant. The Daredevils bowlers simply could not find a way to break the partnership between Kane Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan- the architects of Hyderabad’s win.

As a skipper, Shreyas Iyer still has a lot to learn. He, though, has been impressive with the bat and has led the youth brigade which has admirably shown the way with the bat. However, Daredevils’ playing XI has undergone far too many changes to wear a settled look. It is expected some new faces might get a chance in their remaining three inconsequential matches.

Still, Daredevils will be hoping to regroup in time against RCB, who draw crowds across country, and will be determined to finish off with a win.