Concluding an unsatisfactory IPL season, Royal Challengers Bangalore will be playing their last match of this year’s campaign in a dead rubber against the Delhi Daredevils tonight.
Prior to the start of the season, no one could have imagined that RCB would be the first team to be eliminated from the contest. A side with one of the strongest batting line-ups in the tournament have often flattered to deceive, even registering the lowest total ever scored by a team in IPL (49-all out against KKR).
The top run-scorer for the team is Kedar Jadhav with only 255; on the overall list, he is 27th. That, in itself, is evidence as to where the problem lies. Finishing as finalists in the previous edition of the tournament, little did the fans imagine that RCB would be stuck right at the bottom of the pile this year.
Thus, going into their final game this season, RCB will have to play for pride and would want to end the season on a high.
Here we take a look at today’s probable playing XI against the Delhi Daredevils.
Mandeep Singh has been having a mixed season. He started off at the opening slot but was then tried as a middle order batsman. However, he has failed to capitalise on the chances and should have made more out of the opportunities that came his way. The right-handed batsman will thus be on the look out for some much-needed runs.
The swashbuckling batsman from the Caribbean is someone who has the potential to destroy any bowling attack in the world on his day. Gayle has been a perennial performer for RCB in the tournament’s history. However, he hasn’t really got going so far in IPL 2017 barring a brief flutter against the Gujarat Lions. He will be looking to change that tonight and the fans might just get to witness a Gayle Storm from the stands.
Coming from an injury into this year’s tournament, Virat Kohli too hasn’t had an inspiring tournament. Though the RCB skipper may have failed to live up to his incredibly lofty standards, he has still been amongst the run-getters for the team, scoring three fifties this season. With the Champions Trophy starting soon, the 28-year-old will be looking to end on a high.
The Australian has been one of the underrated players in the RCB camp, getting very few starts. But, in the limited opportunities that he has got, Head has made a statement with his willow. He scored an impeccable 75 against KKR and the left-hander is likely to get another match under his belt and will be hoping to contribute to the scoreboard.
Apart from Kohli, the only other batsman who has been able to perform to some degree for RCB is Kedar Jadhav. The Maharashtra batsman has been in good touch right from the start of the season. And the diminutive wicketkeeper has impressed the fans with his explosive hitting. His superlative knock against the Delhi Daredevils in the first leg was an example of his masterclass and Jadhav would be hoping to repeat the performance again.
Watson stepped in as the intermediate captain at the beginning of the season while Kohli was injured. However, the Australian all-rounder has disappointed the fans this season, failing both with the bat and ball. Watson would be hoping to contribute tonight for the team and get past the horrors of the season.
Negi was brought in to replace Stuart Binny, who had been struggling this season both with the bat and bowl. The former Delhi all-rounder had been very effective and clinical as he has managed to stifle the flow of runs while simultaneously picking up wickets.
After having a low start to IPL 10, Yuzvendra Chahal gradually got in the groove and is currently the leading wicket-taker for RCB this season with 14 wickets. The leggie has been one of the most effective bowlers for the team offering them a wicket taking option even on a batting surface. Chahal has been very consistent in his performances and possesses immense control over his variations.
The West Indian spinner who began his IPL career with RCB with a hat-trick, however, hasn’t quite managed to live up to his standards. Badree lacked consistency in his bowling throughout the campaign owing to an injury but has been economical and amongst the wickets whenever he has bowled.
In the pace department, the Indian duo of Arvind and Choudhary have failed to pick up early wickets. Arvind has a poor economy rate of 9.01 this season and has managed a paltry five wickets. Nevertheless, he is expected to get a final run-in and will hope to add to the meagre wickets he has picked up.
The speedster hasn’t had as many opportunities in IPL 2017 as he would have liked. Aniket has played 5 matches clinching 5 wickets and is likely to get another chance to impress Kohli and the fans before the season ends.