BENGALURU: A slipping Royal Challengers Bangalore face Kolkata Knight Riders in their last IPL home match at M Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Sunday. The string of defeats, including Saturday’s loss to Kings XI Punjab will be weighing heavy on players’ minds.
The team is putting up a brave face and trying it’s best, but there has been no change in fortune. There have a couple of good batting performances, and their bowling has actually been better. Against Glenn Maxwell & Co, their bowling was not too bad, but Shane Watson’s last over, which yielded 19 runs, took the initiative away from Bangalore.
That said, Kolkata are coming off two consecutive losses, and are second on the table with 14 points. A win here will do them a world of good, while also all but ensuring their playoffs passage.
The hosts’ miserable run should give any rival confidence. However, Kolkata assistant coach Simon Katich prefers not to take anything for granted. “In this competition, anyone can play well on a given day. You can’t take anything for granted,” the former Australian batsman observed.
“Yes, Bangalore’s confidence is probably down. But regardless of what has been happening in the last few games, things can turn around quickly. If someone has a good day, the pressure wil be on you. We know that we’ve to walk out there and play some proper cricket because they have some quality players.
“If you don’t turn up with the right attitude and start afresh, you can pay the price. It showed in the last game against Pune. We had a slow start with the bat and didn’t execute our plans, particularly after the Powerplay ended. We paid the price,” he added.
Last year, what went heavily in Bangalore’s favour was the run-friendly home pitch. This year, bowlers are having a better time, and Katich hopes his bowlers use that advantage. “Our spinners are hoping it spins, and that is how it has been in Bengaluru.
In the previous game here, we saw that the hosts’ spinners did well, as did Axar Patel and Glenn Maxwell. From that point of view, spin bowling is going to play a big role, and our spinners are looking forward to that challenge,” Katich noted.
With just two matches left to play for RCB, wins would be most welcome. How they get the wins remains to be seen.