After starting on a hiccup, RCB have gone on to win all the rest of their games, and in handsome manner most of them. Kallis and Kumble, much criticized during the first season of IPL, have been at the forefront of this revival, showing everyone that class will shine in any situation or format.
Delhi, on the other hand, have been slipping. After winning the first 2 games, they’ve lost the next 3, and the defeat to Deccan in the last game really signals what they’ve been missing, someone to see them through.
Opened with Mishra with great success in the last game. Nannes was ripped apart by Gibbs and he needs to perk up his form. Nagar was good too, but Yadav and Henriques need to be a little more consistent. Without Nehra still available, I suspect that this is the best option that DD have.
Their on-field brilliance continues. They squeezed Chennai out like Lime on the field, making them earn every single run. Praveen’s late swing perfectly compliments Steyn’s blistering pace at the top. Vinay kumar has quietly taken a bagful of wickets with his line-and-length stuff, wonderfully supporting his captain Kumble. Their fielders do the best to support the bowling, and with such planning , commitment and execution, it is quite easy to see why they have been so successful.
DD really needs Gambhir’s stability and consistency in the line up. Warner , as expected, as been a great addition, but Gambhir was someone who one can count on to bat through the innings if he gets in, which a volatile Warner or Viru have not been able to provide just yet. Karthik has been in good touch, but disappointed by losing his wicket at a crucial juncture. Manhas and Henriques have a role to play, and they need to play it well to overcome this line up. If Gambhir is fit, he replaces Manhas, and should come 1 down. AB might just retain his place over Dilshan.
Gambhir for Manhas.
CSk finally managed to squeak through the defenses of Kallis and open up the RCB middle order to the world. Dravid and Morgan did very little in their brief stay, and Kohli too failed after a great start. Fortunately for them , Uthappa was at his lethal best. Generously helped by some backyard bowling and CSK’s butterfingered fielding, Uthappa put the game beyond reach. However, it was a good and much needed wake up call for Dravid, Kohli and Morgan to shake off the dust and get into the groove.
For the Delhi Win:
Gambhir’s presence may be crucial. Karthik’s captaincy was alright, but there simply wasn’t a batsman of the quality of Gambhir present as a replacement. DD should hope that Gambhir is around and he should come 1-down. Warner and Viru should be allowed to exploit the PP. AB to retain his place and come lower down the order. While bowling, the wicket of Kallis is crucial. DD need to use the similar strategy of slow bowlers and Nannes to attempt to fish Kallis out.
For the Bangalore win:
Just don’t let the momentum go. Dravid, Morgan and Kohli have gotten a solid taste of things in the middle, and will be keen to make amends this time. However, that will depend on Kallis, who finally has a number against his Average , and would not be too happy at getting dismissed. Accounting for the Warner / Viru duo is imperative for Delhi, and I would open with Vinay Kumar and Steyn. One has the subtle variation and discipline, and the other has the raw pace. If RCB dismiss both of them within the first 5-6 overs, the rest of the DD batsmen have to do something phenomenal to get to a score of 150+ , which is something RCB should be extremely comfortable with.
DD Batting vs RCB bowling: ADvantage RCB
DD Bowling vs RCB Batting: Slight Advantage RCB
DD will be looking to make a statement and stop their skid. However, they are running into the wrong team at the wrong time. RCB is in tremendous form. I know that doesn’t count for much in this format of the game, but remember, they beat CSK without the best of performances.
RCB wins this.