The team touted to be the table-toppers in the IPL 2013 are struggling in the middle of a very fluctuating points table. After being invincible at home,Royal Challengers Bangalore have not been happy away hunters,and desperately need to win against the Delhi Daredevils in Delhi today.
On paper and considering the past performances,task is not a daunting one for the Bangalore unit. But,hang on,Delhi might cook a surprise and spoil the evening for Kohli and Co. They are down,out,and no where close to a play-offs’ berth,but still with some games,which can well change the complexion of this tournament.
Bangalore will have to be at the top of their game against a severely wounded Delhi unit,who might be on the receiving end of the howl today.
In the spotlight
No matter what he does,Virat Kohli remains in focus. He was in attention for winning games,scoring runs,and inspiring his team. Now,the skipper finds himself in a different situation. A situation where fingers are raised at his overflowing anger and emotions. The Wankhede boo and spat with Gautam Gambhir are some of the few instances of Kohli’s aggression. No doubt he is a phenomenal cricketer with enormous talent,but can he deliver the goods with his back to the wall? Can he make it a memorable homecoming today?
Class to power
In Cheteshwar Pujara,Bangalore have found an appropriate partner for the belligerent Chris Gayle. It was important to have some sort of stability at top,and Pujara’s abilities,even in the shorter format,were well exhibited in the team’s last fixture. He was not bogged down by a not-so-great strike-rate to his name,and went about doing business with class. Technique was there,proper cricketing shots were there,and most importantly – runs were there.
The Viv effect
Sir Viv Richards inspired the team to a massive win against the Mumbai Indians. After that,it has been a similar tale for the team who continue to occupy the lower half of the table. They went into the tournament with hopes of a top-four finish,but cricket,as they say,is a glorious game of uncertainties. And,the only certainty now is that Delhi stand no where close to the expected results. Even Richards the great will be running short of ideas. After all,it is the players who will have to perform on the field,not the mentor.
Roaring and scoring
After a string of poor performances,Ben Rohrer roared to form and got some crucial runs for his side in their previous fixture. He was hitting the ball well,and stitched a handy partnership when the team needed it the most. Too late,but the aggressive southpaw has solved their middle-order woes to a certain extent. But,can he,unlike his team,stay consistent and remain among the runs?
Road to Delhi
Royal Challengers Bangalore: LWLLW
Delhi Daredevils: LLWWL
(most recent first)
Only In The Express
Best of Express