The Rising Pune Supergiant will be desperately looking for a couple of points when they take on Royal Challengers Bangalore in their den. The RCB have also not had the best of starts and they would want to get their balance right before it is too late.
The Chinnaswamy track has always been a delight for the RCB fans as tons of runs have been scored by their favourite batsmen over the years. However, the pitch has behaved a little differently this year as it has been slower and provided quite a lot of assistance to spinners. The highest score over the 2 matches has been only 157. So we can expect the match to be low scoring but thrilling at the same time.
RISING PUNE SUPERGIANT – STRENGTHS
Pune had a dream start to their season but have faltered since then. They should take heart from the fact that their skipper is in good touch. Ajinkya Rahane has been good in most matches and he would need to give RPS a good start along with the young Rahul Tripathi who looked very good in the last match. Manoj Tiwary has also been playing well and has been a crucial cog in the RPS wheel. Imran Tahir has been brilliant with the ball by taking quick wickets and maintaining a healthy economy rate in most matches.
RISING PUNE SUPERGIANT – CONCERNS
RPS have a lot to ponder about as they have lost 3 matches back to back. Ben Stokes has not done enough with either bat or ball to justify his price tag. MS Dhoni is not being utilized effectively as he has been playing at no.6 which is probably too low for a player of his caliber. He hasn’t been too effective for RPS this season. The main worry for RPS would be the bowlers who have failed to fire with the exception of Tahir. Pacers like Ashok Dinda, Deepak Chahar and Lockie Ferguson have been utterly disappointing. They need to get their house in order before it is too late.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE – STRENGTHS
RCB have been plagued with injuries ever since the start of this season. However, the good news for them is that Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers are both back in the squad and have looked to be in amazing form already. This would provide a huge boost to the team which is heavily reliant on these two batsmen. Kedar Jadhav has also been in good touch. In the bowling department, Tymal Mills has been effective but on the Chinnaswamy pitch, spinners like Yuzuvendra Chahal and Samuel Badree are expected to be a huge asset. Badree has already shown his prowess with his hat-trick against the Mumbai Indians. Sreenath Arvind has also had a decent IPL till now.
ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE – CONCERNS
Chris Gayle has been disappointing till now this season and RCB would love him to be back in form as soon as possible. The young Indian batsmen have been a tad disappointing with the likes of Mandeep Singh, Pawan Negi and Stuart Binny failing to make an impact with the bat. The RCB batsmen should be wary of the spin threat as their policy of preparing slow tracks may backfire due to Imran Tahir’s presence in the RPS camp. Overall, they need to get their act together by getting the team balance right.
RPS – Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steven Smith, Ben Stokes, M.S Dhoni, Manoj Tiwary, Ankit Sharma, Imran Tahir, Lockie Ferguson, Rahul Chahar, Shardul Thakur.
RCB – Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers, Kedar Jadhav, Mandeep Singh, Pawan Negi, Stuart Binny, Tymal Mills, Samuel Badree, Yuzuvendra Chahal, Sreenath Arvind.
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall : Played – 2, RPS won – 0, RCB won – 2
CONCLUSION AND MATCH PREDICTION
RCB and RPS both need to get back to winning ways as in IPL, it does not take long to bring the team morale down. The sooner they get their act together, the better it is for them. Both the teams would like their spinners to bowl well and restrict the opposition. RPS will heavily rely on Tahir while RCB will hope for Chahal and Badree to make an impact. Both the teams love to chase and would probably field upon winning the toss. However, RCB might just be the favourites to win this one. Here are our predictions.
TOSS – RPS wins and opts to field.
1ST INNINGS SCORE – 155-165
MATCH – RCB win by 15 runs with the opposition 7 down in 20 overs
TOSS – RCB wins and opts to field.
1ST INNINGS SCORE – 140-150
MATCH – RCB win by 6 wickets with 4 balls remaining