The advantages of playing back-to-back matches against the same opponent in less than 48 hours are many. First and foremost, there will be no let-up in the intensity from the teams, from the losing side at least.
The drawing boards won’t be completely wiped off, video analysts
will quickly get down to supplying feedback to the players; and most importantly, wounds will remain fresh.
Normally, teams opt out of training on the day they travel from one venue to another.
Sunrisers Hyderabad did exactly that despite landing in Bangalore on Monday morning. Royal Challengers Bangalore, losers in Sunday’s late night super over humdinger, however, chose to train under lights at the Chinnaswamy stadium despite having arrived in Bangalore only in the evening.
Bangalore’s attempt at polishing some rough edges, despite being tired, was understandable.
Pricked by a less star-studded side in the Sunrisers, Bangalore would now be itching to pay them back in their own backyard. A superb bowling effort had helped them take Sunday’s game into the super over after scoring just 130. It is no mean feat but several factors had hindered Bangalore’s cause.
The biggest, of course, was Chris Gayle not firing despite getting two chances at that. It would be absolutely acceptable to captain Virat Kohli that he and Gayle are and will be his team’s batting mainstays. But there will be occasions when both will misfire as had happened on Sunday.
Tillakaratne Dilshan is yet to make any mark on the tournament which explains Bangalore’s below-par batting in their two matches so far. That leaves few batsmen of that quality to take the responsibility when the chips are down.
Sunrisers, on the other hand, have come up with an all-round performance where everybody has chipped in. Their biggest morale booster however would be the sense of unity that has now seen them reach the top of the points table.
Dale Steyn not only led the bowling from the front during Bangalore’s innings, he made sure that even Gayle couldn’t hit him for consecutive over-boundaries in the super over. Under his leadership, Ishant Sharma is a changed bowler.
The fielding has improved a lot and so has the attitude of the team as a whole.
To upstage that would take a serious effort from the Royal Challengers.