Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - RCB seek momentum ahead of playoffs. AB de Villiers has aggregated just 69 runs in the UAE leg of the IPL
AB de Villiers has aggregated just 69 runs in the UAE leg of the IPL
Less than 48 hours after SRH put a spanner in the works of Virat Kohli's side by sealing a thriller, RCB will take on Delhi Capitals in Dubai. RCB would have hoped to finish in the top two in the league phase in order to find an escape route from the Eliminator. However, the loss against SRH proved to be costly and even if they win by a massive margin versus DC, there is a very, very slim chance of usurping CSK from the second position.
Despite RCB's chances of finishing in the top two effectively going up in smoke, they have a lot of positives to take from the tournament so far including match-ups and tactics. For instance, in the match against SRH, Shahbaz Ahmad's left-arm spin was used early on in the innings against Jason Roy, with the opener having a slice of luck or two. With the pitch offering some grip, Dan Christian and Harshal Patel shortened their lengths and employed cutters, alongside the occasional loppy, slower one. Meanwhile, Glenn Maxwell continued to show exemplary judgement against the spinners and played with fluency on a track where every other batter more or less struggled for timing.
For all the progress RCB have made, there is still a bit of polishing to be done. AB de Villiers, one of the lynchpins of RCB's batting unit, has aggregated just 69 runs in the UAE leg of the IPL. Moreover, in the end overs, one of De Villiers' key strengths is to get underneath the deliveries and crack the big shots. Unfortunately for RCB, in the game against SRH, he couldn't showcase his slog overs skills. In his defence, it has to be observed that Bhuvneshwar Kumar gave a good account of his slog overs smarts by keeping it away from De Villiers' zone and also forced him to clear the longer part of the boundary. The RCB think-tank could still look at moving De Villiers up the order, especially considering the point that filling the number 3 slot has been a bit of a headache.
Meanwhile, the DC camp would be pepped up after overcoming the other frontrunner of the tournament so far – CSK. The plus point for DC is any of the five bowlers – Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan, R Ashwin and Axar Patel – can carry the asterisk of being the spearhead. In the match versus CSK, Nortje and Avesh ended up bowling a few extras, but the spin duo covered up for it by sharing three wickets and gave away only 38 runs. As and when Marcus Stoinis returns to full fitness, it just adds balance to the side. If there is one minor worry, it could be the lack of striking ability lower down the order. Even though Shimron Hetmyer has tried to keep the lower-middle order afloat with his power-packed shots.
When: Friday, October 8, 2021, at 19:30 IST
Where: Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai
What to expect: The tracks for the last couple of games in Dubai have been on the drier side, and one expects another slow deck which would bring variations into play. It is set to be another hot and humid day.
Head To Head: RCB 15 – 10 DC. The last time these two sides met in Ahmedabad, RCB won by a solitary run.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Injuries/Unavailable: RCB have a clean bill of health to report. Kyle Jamieson could replace George Garton, as the left-arm paceman from Sussex has been quite expensive.
Tactics and matchups: Virat Kohli and Glenn Maxwell have fine records against Ashwin in the IPL. Maxwell in particular has played with freedom against Ashwin and has aggregated 91 runs in just 41 balls and has been dismissed only once.
Probable XI: Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Srikar Bharat (wk), Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Daniel Christian, Shahbaz Ahmed, Kyle Jamieson/George Garton, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal and Mohammed Siraj.
Injuries/Unavailable: DC could pick the same XI that usurped CSK as they continue to keep tabs on Stoinis' fitness. The one option is to select Sam Billings and strengthen the lower-middle order.
Tactics and matchups: Prithvi Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan have found it difficult to adjust to the slow nature of the pitches in the UAE, evidenced by the point that Dhawan averages 24.2 and Shaw 11.25 in the UAE leg of the tournament. Hetmyer has been DC's go-to finisher in this year's IPL. The one game where he couldn't take his side past the finish line was against RCB in the first leg of the tournament. However, he did end up with an unbeaten 25-ball 53 in that match.
Probable XI: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (c,wk), Sam Billings/Ripal Patel, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan and Anrich Nortje.
Did you know?
– Harshal has bagged 21 of his 29 wickets in this IPL in the slog overs while Avesh has taken six in the Powerplay, six in the middle overs and 10 in the end overs.
What they said:
“We have been very professional as a team to handle both losses and victories, we haven't been over the top or too low with losses. A little hiccup in the journey but we carry on with the same momentum,” Kohli after RCB's loss to SRH.