Having slumped to a new low this Indian Premier League season, Royal Challengers Bangalore must have endured a forgettable night on Sunday. RCB were bundled out for 49, IPL’s lowest ever total, chasing Kolkata Knight Riders’ modest total of 131 at Eden Gardens.
At the halfway point, Royal Challengers Bangalore have just two wins and five losses. But Virat Kohli’s boys have been in a similar situation before. Last year too RCB had a 2-5 win-loss record after losing to Kolkata Knight Riders in their seventh game.
When Royal Challengers Bangalore face defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at home on Tuesday, Virat Kohli would be eager to turn the tables around. (STANDINGS)
Last year, RCB had made a turnaround and eventually finished runners-up after winning six of the remaining seven league matches.
So can RCB play the same tune again this time?
The Virat Kohli factor
One of the major reasons for RCB’s misery in the last two games has been their skipper’s form. Virat Kohli experienced golden ducks in the last two games and the entire side, including the likes of Chris Gayle, AB de Villiers and Kedar Jadhav failed to fire consistently.
At this stage, if RCB are to bounce back, they need a batsman who could anchor the innings. Kohli will have to show that he can play the full 20 overs and he will have to inspire the team to rally around him.
Against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Kohli will have to be cautious as Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who takes the new ball for SRH, is capable of swinging the ball both ways.
If Hyderabad have succeeded in posting competitive totals, it is because their middle-order has provided the push needed in the slog overs. Unfortunately, RCB is yet to deliver on that front. Kedar Jadhav, AB De Villiers and Mandeep Singh have failed to compliment the start given by Chris Gayle and Kohli. None of the RCB batsmen have crossed 200 runs in seven games and that is something that would bother Virat Kohli.
Pacers need to be economical
RCB’s pace bowling has been dismal. England pacer Tymal Mills has just five wickets to his name with an economy rate just under nine. Kohli played Shane Watson but he too went for more than 10 an over. Srinath Aravind and Stuart Binny too have failed.
Cautious against Rashid Khan
In the first leg in Hyderabad, Mandeep and Travis Head threw their wickets away against their Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan. With a lot of right handers in their line-up, RCB will have to be careful against Rashid Khan and watch out for his googly.
Sunrisers Hyderabad boasts of a lot of left-handers in their line-up and it could hurt RCB’s chances as they don’t have an off-spinner. RCB has two leg-spinners in Yuzvendra Chahal and Samuel Badree, which might give SRH an advantage. But if Kohli’s has to get on top of them, it is important that Chahal picks wickets.He is one bowler who possess the quality to pick. A magical spell by Yuzvendra Chahal can help Kohli’s cause.