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Royal Challengers Bangalore look to salvage season of lows with fight and fireworks 

The match is of interest for KXIP because they are fifth on the table with eight points and still have a chance to make it to the playoff stage.

Published: 05th May 2017 05:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 05th May 2017 05:12 AM   |  A+A-

RCB skipper Virat Kohli (2nd L) during practice on Thursday. | Vinod Kumar T

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Royal Challengers Bangalore have definitely lost the plot this time around. So, when they take on Kings XI Punjab in their IPL game here on Friday, it is only to salvage some pride as they are at the bottom of the table. The match is of interest for KXIP because they are fifth on the table with eight points and still have a chance to make it to the playoff stage.

Against the kind of performance RCB came up with last year, this season was a total disappointment. It is difficult to imagine a team full of stars can crumbling in this manner. Why they have been unable to figure out what is going wrong, and correct it, is difficult to understand. Perhaps, that is what this format of cricket is about. Even the best can have a very bad season.

RCB’s Stuart Binny admitted that times were hard for the team. “To be honest, it has not been easy. It is new for the team to be struggling in the competition. It has been difficult for the guys to be able to motivate themselves. On that note, we have spoken about it,” he said.

“It has happened to a few teams. We certainly didn’t expect this to happen to us. We did not get the momentum going in the first half of the tournament. That hurt us. Right now, we have regrouped and have three games to go. We want to make the most of it when it comes to performances,” he added.

RCB are known for their batting but this year, their bowling has been better.

“We’ve not got the scores that we set out to get in most of the games. Credit must be given to the bowling, especially the way we’ve bowled when we needed to defend a low total. We needed to get wickets upfront and we got them. But the result didn’t go our way. On a whole, I think the bowling has done pretty well this year,” he observed.  

However, KXIP’s Martin Guptill said that the team is not taking RCB for granted. “I still think RCB is a dangerous side. If you look through their line-up, all the way down, they’ve got match winners everywhere,” he said. “We have to play extremely well and put our plans in place. It’s still going to be a tough game.”

On the Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch, which has seen some low-scoring matches this season, he said: “If its going to be anything like the practice wickets, it’s going to be a high scoring game. Once we get to the middle, we will assess what’s happening and hopefully adapt quickly.”

vivekphadnis@newindianexpress.com

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