Bottom-placed Deccan Chargers host Royal Challengers Bangalore in Match 71 of this edition of the IPL. The last league game for either side has something in it for both sides. While it is a must-win game for RCB if they are to make it to the playoffs, the Chargers would move a place up to 8th in the points table should they win today.
The Royal Challengers from Bangalore have been in explosive form, having won against the league leaders Delhi, in Delhi. Chris Gayle, who holds the Orange Cap, has been consistent as ever for the Royal Challengers, scoring 706 runs this edition which include a staggering 57 sixes. A win here should see them through to the playoffs at the expense of Chennai. And yet, as easy as the contest may seem, complacency can cause trouble for Bangalore. Deccan Chargers are very much capable of playing spoilsport as they did against Rajasthan in their previous game. That’s something RCB skipper Kohli would be wary of.
Deccan Chargers finally managed to end their five-match losing streak with a win here against Rajasthan Royals and should they extend their winning run today, they would replace Pune at the 8th position in the points table, but more importantly keep Bangalore out of the next round. Can they win against a menacing Bangalore side and string together two victories in a row?
Head to Head:
Today’s game is the 11th match between the two sides. In the 10 games so far, each side has won five games. In the reverse fixture on 6th May earlier this season, RCB won against the Chargers thanks to a match-winning 17-ball 47 from AB De Villiers.
Played – 10; DC – 5, RCB – 5.
1. Dale Steyn
The South African pacer played a crucial part in the win against Rajasthan Royals. Spearheading the Chargers bowling attack, it is vital for him to restrict the flow of runs and contain the explosive Chris Gayle. Should he manage to replicate his performance against Rajasthan today, DC might manage to get a win against the odds.
2. Shikhar Dhawan
The Deccan Chargers opening batsman has been one of the few consistent performers for the side and the team relies heavily on him to get off to a good start. The frailties in the DC middle order require that he set up a high stand with his partner for the opening wicket as he did against RR in their previous game.
3. Kumar Sangakkara
The Sri Lankan wicket keeper batsman, who kept himself out of the action in the win against Rajasthan, can add some much-needed depth to the Chargers batting line-up, which made a tough task of chasing a low 127-run target against RR. If the Bangalore batting lives up to its reputation, the Chargers would have to put up a high total on board to entertain thoughts of winning today, and Sangakkara could be key to chasing a high target.
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
1. Chris Gayle
An easy choice. The Orange Cap holder has been in superb form of late and is coming into this game on the back of an unbeaten 128-run knock against the Daredevils. It is needless to say that if he isn’t sent back to the pavilion early, the game might be beyond the Chargers.
2. AB De Villiers
It would be interesting to see the contest between De Villiers and his South African team mate Dale Steyn after his heroics against DC in the reverse fixture earlier this season. He can be a destructive batsman as he proved against the same opponents in Bangalore.
3. Zaheer Khan:
One of the best bowlers in the game, his composure and quick thinking make Zaheer Khan a valuable asset in the Twenty20 format. It is his ability to read the batsmen that has served him and his side well, making him one of the best bowlers in the death overs.
On paper, RCB seems to be too strong for the Chargers and will likely win and make it to the playoffs.