Two of the bottom-most teams in the league take on each other as Bangalore face Delhi at the Chinnaswamy for the second game of the double-header. Both teams have been let down by their bowling, while Delhi have struggled with the bat too. The latter’s solitary victory came thanks to some solitary brilliance from Jason Roy, but his early departure in the last game meant that Delhi fell apart soon after.
Kohli will be determined to win this one after he found himself alone in chasing a mammoth target against Mumbai. Gambhir enjoyed tons of success with KKR, but has struggled with his new employers. Delhi is unlucky to have lost against Rajasthan, but their struggles have mirrored that of past seasons. Which team will bounce back first at a batting paradise that once again favours the home team?
Shreyas Iyer, Chris Morris, Rishabh Pant, Glenn Maxwell, Gautam Gambhir (c), 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.
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.
Where the teams stand
Delhi folded for a paltry 129 in their last match against KKR. Even 129 was scored at the behest of Pant and Maxwell, who scored 40s. Nobody else managed more than 8. Pant has largely been a lone warrior in that batting lineup after Gambhir’s struggles since his 55 in their opening game. Roy was brilliant against Mumbai, but could not sustain it against Kolkata. Maxwell looked in great touch before succumbing to a half-tracker from Kuldeep. Delhi’s batting pretty much ends after the number fifth position, with Shankar and Tewatia unable to score and Morris struggling as well. Roy, Pant, and Maxwell will be the key for Delhi in Bangalore, a batting paradise that will suit the playing style of these batsmen. It will also be a good chance for Gambhir to get a good knock in and lead from the front.
Delhi have conceded 190+ in both their last two games, symbolic of how ordinary their bowling has been despite the big names associated with it. KKR essentially scored 200 in 18 overs against them, as Maxwell rightly pointed out. Young Rahul Tewatia has been the pick of their bowlers so far, while Nadeem’s inclusion continues to mystify. Morris has been in and out of the team due to his struggles, but he remains an important player for Delhi. Boult was great against KKR, but he has also generally been expensive. Shami too has not lived up to his name. This is a serious concern given the big names in RCBs lineup, that too in Bangalore.
Fantasy Picks: Maxwell, Roy, and Pant are the obvious picks from this team. Tewatia has been economical recently and could make for a good pick. Gambhir is another gamble, but he is still one of the leading run scorers of all time in the IPL.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Bangalore will be especially disappointed by the outcome of the previous match. They brought Mumbai to their knees by taking two wickets from the first two balls, but Lewis and Sharma still got the better of their attack. Woakes, despite the number of wickets he has taken, has been very expensive. Siraj was comparatively conservative, conceding at only 8.5. Chahal was fantastic against Rajasthan, but lost his rhythm against Mumbai. Anderson came into the team against Mumbai and picked up both the destructive MI batsmen, but conceded at almost 12 too. Sundar has generally been economical, but Mumbai spared none. They are not up against a particularly dangerous batting lineup, but they have been far too leaky.
Dropping McCullum is a decision Kohli probably regretted in hindsight. The swashbuckling right-hander has not exactly been in the best form, but his destructiveness is an asset for any squad. This especially when you're consistently being asked to chase 200+. de Kock is the most expendable of the four foreigners, despite his 45 and other decent 20s. de Villiers too has struggled after outstanding displays in the first two games. Kohli has resisted dismissal as his teammates have fallen cheaply around him. He has scored 57 and 92 against RR and RCB, respectively. His dejection at not receiving any support was apparent at the post-match conference. Mandeep Singh was the only one to partially do so against Rajasthan. He has been in good touch, but two batsmen cannot do nearly enough to cover for their bowlers. Sarfaraz Khan continues to be a nuisance for RCB, and Kohli’s persistence with him has been perplexing. With Parthiv Patel and Manan Vohra on the bench, his place in the side is in serious danger. RCB will need as much cover in their batting as they can possibly get with this attack.
Fantasy Picks: Kohli, de Villiers, and possibly McCullum are first names on any team sheet. Mandeep’s good form makes him a good pick too. Umesh Yadav is a gamble, but he has proved his ability to rattle oppositions. Washington Sundar is also usually reliable, and he can contribute with the bat as well.
RCB win. If RCB have been bad, DD have been worse. Delhi will need another innings like the one Roy played to win this one.
Which side will snare a much-needed IPL 2018 win? Let us know in the comments below.