BENGALURU: Stung by a batting debacle, Royal Challengers Bangalore have the onerous task of picking up pieces when they face defending champion Sunrisers Hyderabad tomorrow, with a singular aim of keeping their hopes alive in the Indian Premier League.
It will be an arduous task for Virat Kohli and Co after being dismissed for 49 by KKR--- the lowest ever total in the history of IPL, where none of 11 batsmen could get to double figures. With only four points from seven games, RCB needs to get their campaign back on track as the tournament reaches its second phase.
Facing a form team like Sunrisers Hyderabad, who are on 8 points from seven games, will be a challenge for RCB, whose batting line-up has not fired consistently in the tournament. The 'Big Three' Kohli (154 from 4 matches), Chris Gayle (144 from 5 games) and AB de Villiers (145 from 4 games) have not been consistent in the tournament.
Worse, Kedar Jadhav after a good limited overs season for India has been a super flop with 175 runs from 7 games. His technique against quality fast bowling on not-so-flat pitches has been thoroughly exposed. In situations like these, a win is all that Kohli will care for with the campaign going haywire.
On a personal note, Kohli sets very high standards for himself and also expects his team to do the same. The extent of his disappointment after '49 Gate' was evident when he termed it as their "worst batting performance if not the worst ever in IPL."
For an India captain, it will be difficult to digest the fact that RCB can be knocked out of the tournament before the knock-out phase. In a disappointing batting display, none of the Bangalore batsmen could reach the double digit mark with Jadhav's nine being the highest.
On the flipside, Hyderabad, will look to maintain their consistency as they had pulled off four wins on a trot before losing to Rising Pune Supergiant in their previous game -- largely due to single-handed effort from Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Openers David Warner (235 from 7 games) and Shikhar Dhawan (282 from 7 games), who have been scoring the bulk of runs, would look to maintain their form. Moises Henriques (193 runs), who remained unbeaten on 55 off just 28 deliveries in the last game against Pune, would look to lend useful contribution in death overs.
Kane Williamson, who played his first match of the season against Delhi Daredevils, made 89 off 51 balls and propelled Hyderabad to their fourth win in four home matches, would love to repeat the performance.
Against Pune, the Kiwi tried to accelerate the run-rate during his 21 off 14 balls that included a six and a four. Given a chance, Yuraj Singh who was dropped against Pune for having scored just 96 runs this season, would like to make amends for his failure while presence of Henriques as seamer all-rounder and Ben Cutting as the back-up lends the team much-needed solidity.
Bowling has complemented Hyderabad's batsmen with seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (16 wickets) and young Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan (10 wickets). Siddharth Kaul has also been decent during the death overs.
Teams: Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (Captain), Tymal Mills, Aniket Chaudhary, Praveen Dubey, Billy Stanlake, AB de Villiers, Chris Gayle, Yuzvendra Chahal, Harshal Patel, Mandeep Singh, Adam Milne, Sarfaraz Khan, Sreenath Arvind, Kedar Jadhav, Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Samuel Badree, Iqbal Abdulla, Travis Head, Sachin Baby, Avesh Khan and Tabraiz Shamsi.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner(Captain), Tanmay Agarwal, Ricky Bhui, Bipul Sharma, Ben Cutting, Shikhar Dhawan, EklavyaDwivedi, Moises Henriques, Deepak Hooda, Chris Jordan,Siddharth Kaul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ben Laughlin, AbhimanyuMithun, Mohammad Nabi, Mohammed Siraj, Mustafizur Rahman,Ashish Nehra, Naman Ojha (wk), Rashid Khan, Vijay Shankar,Barinder Sran, Pravin Tambe, Kane Williamson and Yuvraj Singh.