The bottom two teams are set to battle it out for pride as the Delhi Daredevils take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the Kotla. A loss for RCB will mean that they replace DD at rock-bottom. Delhi have struggled to finish above the sixth position for several years now, and a few victories might help them break that jinx.
Shreyas Iyer has a point to prove as captain. The team has improved exponentially, but the results have not gone their way. RCB have had yet another disappointing season, and they will not want to end it at the bottom of the table. Can they avoid the bottom place, or will DD finally escape the wooden spoon?
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Virat Kohli (c), AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Brendon McCullum, Chris Woakes, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Quinton de Kock, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manan Vohra, Kulwant Khejroliya, Aniket Choudhary, Navdeep Saini, Murugan Ashwin, Mandeep Singh, Washington Sundar, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Siraj, Parthiv Patel, Aniruddha Joshi, Pavan Deshpande, Tim Southee, Corey Anderson.
Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant, Glenn Maxwell, Gautam Gambhir, Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Mohammed Shami, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Daniel Christian, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Trent Boult, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane, Naman Ojha, Sayan Ghosh, Liam Plunkett, Junior Dala.
Where the teams stand
Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB’s batting has looked rusty all season with the lack of consistent performances from any one batsman. Kohli and AB have been put under too much pressure, and they have often succumbed to it by either being dismissed early, or playing a slow innings to preserve wickets. de Grandhomme has been in good form down the order, but despite the world class names, RCB are struggling to put up competitive scores or chase down challenging totals.
RCB’s bowling has been doing the best it can to restrict oppositions to low totals, but the batsmen have simply failed to support them. Chahal, Yadav, and Southee have all been consistent and amongst the wickets. It is up to the batsmen to get them over the line against a team that is also batting well and bowling poorly.
Fantasy Picks: AB, Kohli, Umesh, and Chahal are all very reliable picks from this team. Southee has been taking wickets too, while de Grandhomme’s late hitting can be worth some substantial points too.
While RCB have been let down by their batsmen, DD have been unlucky to not have more wins under the belt despite some poor bowling. Pant, Shaw, and Iyer have all been regularly performing, with Pant scoring a century against the invincible SRH attack. Iyer is also one of the highest run-scorers of the tournament, and the team’s improvement has been quite evident under him. Players like Maxwell and Roy continue to disappoint, and if they start performing they can neutralize the deficiency of their bowlers.
Pant’s ton went in vain as SRH won by a staggering nine wickets. Delhi’s bowlers simply failed to take more than one wicket. Their bowlers have all been expensive, and the constant changes have not helped Delhi accomplish a settled attack. Boult has been amongst the wickets, taking 13 so far but with an average economy of over 9. Plunkett and Mishra have been inconsistent, while Nadeem and Shankar have also gone for runs. This will essentially be a contest between RCBs bowling and DDs batting, and the latter looks more likely to clinch this one.
Fantasy Picks: Iyer, Pant, and Shaw are no-brainers from DD. The bowlers are all a gamble, but Mishra and Boult are the safest choices. Vijay Shankar has been hitting the ball well, and might be crucial to Delhi’s chances.
DD win. Their superior batting gives them a huge advantage over RCB.
Which team will go a long way to lifting themselves out of the bottom two with a win in this one, the Delhi Daredevils or Royal Challengers Bangalore? Let us know in the comments and poll below.