When RCB defeated DD in the 19th game of the league, they seemed to be gaining some momentum. However, 4 matches later, all they have is 3 defeats and a solitary victory against MI to show. Two of these three defeats have come against arch rivals CSK, while one has come against KKR.
Their last game against CSK was a disaster as Bangalore never looked like winning the game. After the utter collapse of their batting line up, with gun batters AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli throwing their wickets away, it was only their bowling which kept them in the match.
With 3 wins and 6 losses out of 9 games, RCB have just kept their chances alive in IPL 2018. They now have to ideally win 5 games on the trot to have a shy at a potential berth in the playoffs.
For a start, they have to win their fixture against SRH at all costs. However, SRH possesses one of the best bowling attacks in the IPL and it would be a stiff task for RCB to have the wood on them.
Here is RCB’s probable XI for the game against SRH:
Parthiv Patel (wk)
Parthiv Patel was included for Quinton de Kock in the last game. De kock had flown to South Africa to attend a wedding and Patel filled in his place both as a keeper and as an opener.
He was a little scratchy to start off but gained momentum and struck a breezy half century. Although, his keeping credentials came under question as he missed two opportunities in the game against CSK.
After trying all overseas players, RCB have settled with Brendon McCullum. He has the potential to give the team an explosive start. Moreover, he is a genuine athlete and saves around 10 runs in every match. If he gets going, the Kiwi is a very difficult batsman to stop.
Virat Kohli (c)
Virat Kohli would rightfully slot himself at No 3 and bring some control in the innings. Despite his team not doing well, Kohli has had a decent IPL. He is ranked as the 6th batsman to score most runs in this season till now.
AB de Villiers
After missing a couple of matches due to viral fever, ABD was back in the last match against CSK but failed to leave a mark. He would be itching to go out and contribute to his team’s success.
LOWER MIDDLE ORDER
Mandeep singh has been good for RCB lower down the order. Mandeep has also finished a couple of games for Bangalore. He may not be the burliest lad but he finds a way to score quickly.
Colin de Grandhomme
Gradhomme has been an underused player for RCB. He was allowed to bowl his entire quota of four overs only in the last match and guess what, he ended with very economical figures. CDG is handy with the bat as well and has the potential to strike it big.
Murugan Ashwin/Washington Sundar
Murugan Ashwin who was picked in place of Washington Sundar in the last match bowled well and did not give away too many runs. Notwithstanding a couple of short deliveries to MS Dhoni, M Ashwin bowled tight line and lengths.
Washington Sundar has been left to warm the benches by Virat Kohli as he hasn’t been able to make the impact that he did during the Nidahas trophy.
Kohli probably hasn’t used him in the best possible way, as Washington Sundar can be lethal during the powerplay. Also, Kohli might want to go in with an off-spinner, with Chahal already in the side.
Chahal has been a find for RCB but he is yet to come good this season. In the last match MS Dhoni tonked him for 3 towering sixes. This must have affected his confidence a bit but he is too good a bowler not to bounce back in the coming games.
Southee has been one of the most economical bolwers in the last few matches for RCB. He gives you two overs first up and has the ability to swing the ball. Then the Kiwi comes back at the death and does the job for the team.
Umesh Yadav finds a place in the list of Purple Cap contenders and has bowled well this season. Although he has been punished in the slog overs, he has picked up wickets at the outset. It would be advisable that Kohli uses his overs in the beginning when the ball is hard and new.
Siraj did not start particularly well but he has been improving with each game. In the last match as well he bowled very economically and is expected to retain his place in the side.