The impact of a physiological blow cannot be undermined even in T20 cricket, and more so when it comes to a team which is
fighting for survival. The TV camera was fixated on Bangalore skipper Virat Kohli every time James Faulkner or Steve Smith scored a boundary while adding 85 off 32 in an unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership. As the unbelievable run chase was in progress, Kohli grew increasingly distraught.
After losing a game they should have won, Bangalore will have to regroup quickly. Fortunately, they will be playing Delhi Daredevils, last year’s wooden spoon-winners who look like doing no better this season.
Searching for block-hole
The Faulkner-Smith partnership topped the efforts of Yuvraj Singh (83 off 38) and AB de Villiers (58 off 32) but Bangalore will take heart from the fact that their Rs 14 crore buy came good with both bat and ball (4 for 35). However, an area of concern will be the inability of their bowlers, especially the pacers, to keep the opposition batsmen in check. Twenty-one, 23 and 21 runs were conceded by the pacers off the last three overs of the RR innings, which effectively ended Bangalore’s chances.
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With just two wins from seven games, Delhi will be largely playing for pride. Their problems start at the very top as they have failed to find a stable opening combination. Quinton de Kock, Kevin Pietersen, Mayank Agarwal, Murali Vijay have all been tried but none of these combinations have been consistent. While it is too late in the tournament to fix the opening combination, Delhi could push Kedar Jadhav, who has looked in fine form, and JP Duminy, their highest run-scorer (284) higher up the order.
CSK look to go top of table
Chennai Super Kings will be aiming to go top of the table but a determined Rajasthan Royals stand in the way as the two sides gear up to clash in an IPL match in Ranchi on Tuesday. Tied on points with Kings XI Punjab, Chennai are second on the table due to a slightly lower net run-rate. Chennai have won seven of their nine games and are aiming for their third title.
Rajasthan are not too far behind, occupying the third spot with six wins from nine matches. Given their fine run, both the teams would start as equals in the match even though it was Chennai who came out trumps the first time the two sides came face to face in this season.
Rajasthan are flying high after scoring an impressive win against Royal Challengers Bangalore against whom they chased down a massive 191-run target last night. In Karun Nair, they have discovered a fairly consistent batsman at the top who has silently worked towards cementing his place in the side. The likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith and Sanju Samson have also been coming good, making Rajasthan a reasonably strong line-up to deal with for any opposition attack. Skipper Shane Watson is, however, due to make a big impact in the tournament even though he has been producing fine cameos.
On the other hand, Chennai are not any less when it comes to batting with an array of power-hitters such as Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Faf du Plessis besides skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. All these batsmen have been in fine form. (PTI)