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Cornered Royal Challengers hope bowlers come to party in crunch battle vs Mumbai

RCB defended a modest total against Kings XI Punjab with Australian all-rounder Shane Watson the one to stand out.

Published: 11th May 2016 03:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th May 2016 03:22 AM   |  A+A-

Cornered

BENGALURU: It is a tight situation, probably more so for Royal Challengers Bangalore than Mumbai Indians as they take on each other at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Wednesday. The key will obviously be for the RCB bowlers to up the ante.

Monday’s narrow victory saw RCB defend a modest total against Kings XI Punjab with Australian all-rounder Shane Watson the one to stand out. That said, the Chinnaswamy wicket is a haven for runs and if RCB have to win, they will need a little help from Lady Luck with the toss as well.

A couple of matches ago, there was great hope with the arrival of England quick Chris Jordan. However, his showing in the previous match was modest at best. And though he gave away a lot of runs on Monday, a couple of deliveries at the death were good and made the difference. There is a need for more of that. The point is, for various reasons, Jordan’s inclusion has not helped much thus far. Samuel Badree and Mitchell Starc’s absence still has to be stinging RCB.

 Knowing this, Mumbai Indians will probably be confident. The walloping at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad has to be hurting and they will be out for blood.

On Tuesday, Mumbai Indians’ Hardik Pandya said, “It’s simple because we don’t have to think about the last game. Whatever happened is history and we are looking forward to this game. It’s an important game for us and for them as well. This is a high-scoring ground and we’re expecting runs as well. As a bowler, I need to be ready for everything.”

About the AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli factor, Pandya said, “In the end, as bowlers, we need to be confident. We have plans when we bowl to AB or Virat or Rahul. So, it’s just that you have to follow plans, and try to make them commit mistakes.”

At the Chinnaswamy, they will have to deliver when it comes to the bowling. Their bowling failure has also been putting undue pressure on batsmen to notch up high totals. Being a crunch game, there is no option but to continue winning if RCB want to have a shot at the title.

1 The top run-scorer of the league, RCB’s Virat Kohli, has scored 92 more than the second-placed batsman, David Warner. He has also played one game less.

8 Royal Challengers Bangalore have won just eight of the 18 matches they have played against Mumbai Indians in the IPL. They have lost 10 against the Reliance-owned outfit, for a winning percentage of 44.44.

 — vivek.phadnis@newindianexpress.com

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