Bangalore - Hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), which won all its five games on home turf, hopes to maintain its winning momentum in away matches too after Tuesday’s league tie against Pune Warriors India (PWI) though it lost two such games against Sunrisers in Hyderabad (April 7) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Chennai April 13 on the last ball.
“Our aim is to win Tuesday match against Warriors to get the vital 12 points and finish at the top of the table before we embark on away matches. As we will be playing away from home for over 15 days, I think we can adjust to the local conditions and play good cricket. We can beat any side in any condition,” RCB opening batsman Tilakaratne Dilshan told reporters Monday at a pre-match presser here.
The home team has 10 points from five matches played in Bangalore and currently tops the table with better net run rate (+0.470) than Sunrisers, which also has 10 points from as many games (five) but behind it with net run rate of -0.104.
Sunrisers also lost two away games so far against RCB in Bangalore April 9 and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) April 14.
RCB will be playing six away league games from April 27 to May 12, beginning with Mumbai Indians (MI) in Mumbai this Saturday, against Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur April 29, PWI in Pune May 2, Kings XI Punjab at Mohali May 6, Delhi Daredevils in New Delhi May 10 and KKR at Ranchi May 12.
Returning home May 13, it will play two more league matches in Bangalore May 14 against Kings XI and CSK May 18 before play-offs begin May 21 in Chennai.
“We have been playing well at home as we know the conditions much better than other teams. Since we have played a lot of games here, we know how to adjust batting on this wicket. We are also playing good cricket in all departments. That’s why we have been winning here,” Dilshan said before the team got into a three-hour net’s practice in the Chinnaswamy stadium.
Pune Warriors, however, has four points from seven league ties, winning only twice but losing in five.
Noting that there is a lot of cricket to play over the next three weeks, the former Sri Lanka captain said the team would have to adjust to different conditions and teams in away games to be consistent and remain among the top four to qualify for play-offs.
“We have been playing really good so far. I think we should continue with this good work throughout the tournament to get into the qualifiers,” the southpaw observed.
Admitting that he could not score runs in the first two matches this season, Dilshan said he came into IPL with a lot of confidence after making many runs in the one-day internationals in Bangladesh recently.
“As I got injured after first two games, I had to rest for about 10 days. In the last match (against Rajasthan Royals April 20), though I scored 25 and was keen to get more runs, I was disappointed getting out early. I am looking forward to get one big score in the coming matches,” Dilshan said.
Asked if there would be any changes in the team for Tuesday’s match, the opener said there could be one or two, as Mayank Agarwal is out of the tournament as he got his finger fractured.
“I don’t think there will be much of a change, barring Mayank as he is injured. The team is balanced with Saurab Tiwary, another left hander in the middle order. We have one left-hander (Chris Gayle) at the top. With four seamers and one spinner, our bowling department is also strong,” Dilshan asserted.
Lauding Gayle’s contribution to the team with his prolific batting, Dilshan said if the West Indian south paw went after the bowling, he would like to him more strike.
“It all depends on how Gayle is going about the game. In my case, there won’t be any change in my role. If the ball comes in my areas, I am going to smash it,” Dilshan averred.
Being an all-rounder, the Sri Lankan veteran said he was waiting for his turn to bowl in this tournament, especially in away matches.
“I have bowled only one over so far in this edition. Definitely, I like to bowl in any format of the game. I am waiting for my turn to bowl, especially in away matches because the Bangalore wicket helps fast bowlers and spinners have a tough time bowling on it,” Dilshan added.