IPL 8 preview: RR, RCB in a top vs bottom face-off
RR are the favourites to win this contest against RCB on Friday. (Source: PTI)
RR take on RCB on Friday. RR are the team to beat this season while RCB need a win desperately to get their campaign back on track. Here is how the teams stack up. (Full Coverage| Fixtures|Points Table)
RR (lost to KXIP)
What went wrong: Planning. After five wins on the bounce, Royals lost their last game to Kings XI Punjab and the hit-or-miss nature of the one-over eliminator notwithstanding, it was down to poor planning. The team management took almost an eternity to make a wrong decision. Inexplicably, they didn’t pick Ajinkya Rahane – holder of the ‘Orange Cap’ and fresh from his 54-ball 74 earlier in the game – to bat in the super-over. Steve Smith was held back at one down. Rajasthan preferred impact over quality and paid for it.
During Punjab’s run-chase also, they had erred. Pravin Tambe had the figures of one for 20 in his first three overs. He was set to bowl the 18th over of the innings, but the leggie was stopped in his tracks with part-time off-spinner Deepak Hooda replacing him. David Miller made merry, hitting two sixes before he was out in the fifth ball. By then, the momentum had swung towards Punjab.
What went right: Rahane. Another half-century — his third in six matches — took the opener’s tally to 305 runs at a strike-rate of 121.51. Tambe, once again, bowled with guile. With an economy rate of 6.75, the 43-year-old is one of the most accurate bowlers in the tournament.
RCB (lost to CSK)
What went wrong: The decision to drop Chris Gayle for Rilee Rossouw bordered on the outrageous. But more than anything else, Bangalore’s problems lie in their wrong batting order. Dinesh Karthik might have had a Rs 10.5-crore price tag, but that doesn’t justify his promotion at No. 4 ahead of AB de Villiers.
Karthik (43 runs, strike-rate 104.87 after four matches) failed to get going against Super Kings as well, being out for 11 off 10 balls. AB (strike-rate 208.06) came after him and yet again, his team relied on him to pull a Houdini. The South African is the best cricketer in the world but he’s not a magician. Against Mumbai Indians, he single-handedly raised hopes of an improbable win. Against Super Kings, he fell prey to a mix-up. On both occasions, the pressure was too much.
What went right: Virat Kohli’s 51 off 42 balls was one of the only positives for his team. Mitchell Starc looked pretty sharp in his first game after an injury lay-off. And leggie Yuzvendra Chahal once again impressed with three wickets. He took the new ball against the likes of Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith and kept his composure.
Royals are a form team. They don’t bounce back well from defeats as their last season collapse will attest. Despite being on top of the table with 10 points, it would be imperative for Watson & Co to return to winning ways. As for RCB, they’ve hit rock bottom with only two points from four matches. Arrest the slide they must. Also, Gayle must play.
Source:: Indian Express