This could well turn out to be the most explosive batting display in the sixth edition of the Indian Premier League T20 domestic cricket tournament to date. For Bangalore and Delhi have names that could drive the think-tanks on either side crazy in their search for ideas to stop them. As if a pair wasn’t enough, both teams now have a third performer who has been causing the same devastation.
Bangalore’s pair of sixer specialist Chris Gayle and skipper Virat Kohli have played havoc with the Delhi attack.
Remember the 215 that they posted in Delhi last time with Gayle making a blazing unbeaten 128 and Virat coming up with a fiery 70 plus.
When Chris was absent in the first clash in Bangalore, AB de Villiers chipped in wonderfully. This trio has been supplementing and complimenting one another with the same effectiveness and zeal this year as well. Virat has the Orange Cap with a tally of 256 runs in five games. Gayle has 195 in five matches while A B de Villiers has 101 in a mere three games.
Despite losing all four games, Delhi have the dashing pair of David Warner and skipper Mahela Jayawardhane and with the swashbuckling Virender Sehwag joining the team in the last game after injury, their batting assumes the same ferocity as that of Bangalore, at least on paper.
Warner, the dapper left-handed Aussies, is their top run-getter with 159 from four games. Jayawardhane has 100 from four with Sehwag making 12 runs in his only appearance. Their Punjabi boy who plays for Gujarat, Manprit Charanjit Juneja, has shown he is capable of a lot more.
Bangalore’s bowling hasn’t been impressive. Vinay Kumar, R P Singh, whose last ball no-ball and the last over in the defeat to Chennai beggars belief according to Sunil Gavaskar. Jaydev Unadkat and Muthaiah Muralitharan have often struggled. It is just that their batsmen have done consistently well to cover up these cracks.
With Morne Morkel, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Ashish Nehra and Umesh Yadav in their ranks, the Delhi pace attack looks more lethal and with better options too. Their spin department isn’t much to shout about though.
All the same, containment will be the watchword in both camps. Given the nature of wickets so far at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, a run-feast is in prospect, results so far notwithstanding. Delhi have won six and Bangalore five of their 11 clashes so far in the IPL since 2008. Will Gayle or Warner do enough to pay a left-handed compliment to the other? Well, the game under lights gets off at 8.00 p.m.