Bangalore, Apr 14: Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals are in same situation. Both arrive into Game 18 of IPL 5 after two successive losses. They will be hoping to turn it around here at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday night.
RCB were shocked by Albie Morke's 7-ball gem of an innings in Chennai. It was a high scoring match and for 38 overs in the game, Daniel Vettori-captained side was ahead, only to lose in the next 12 balls.
That is history now and RCB have to move ahead. Many were criticising Vettori for handing the ball to Virat Kohli in the 19th over against Chennai Super Kings. But he had not other choice.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar felt Vettori should relinquish captaincy and hand it over to Chris Gayle or Virat Kohli. Gavaskar was not impressed by the New Zealander's handling of his troops.
RCB lost to Chennai after scoring more than 200 runs. Prior this defeat, they were undone by Kolkataka Knight Riders' paceman Lakshmipathy Balaji as this venue.
Gayle and Kohli were in top form in Chennai and they will be hoping to continue the same. AB de Villiers, Mayank Agarwal are the other batsmen who are in form. Cheteshwar Pujara's place in the team is shaky, so is million-dollar boy Saurabh Tiwary.
Muttiah Muralitharan has been exceptional with the ball and he will partner Vettori again. If Tillakaratne Dilshan needs to be accommodated in the playing 11, then it will have to be at the expense of Muralitharan.
Rajasthan's batting is in good health. They rely heavily on opener Ajinkya Rahane, the current holder of Orange Cap. Owais Shah and Brad Hodge are also in good nick.
For captain Rahul Dravid, it will be a homecoming and will be facing his former team, which he had led in the first year of IPL. He will know the conditions here and that will help his team.
They lost to Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in their recent games.
As always the focus will be on Gayle. Bangalore awaits his big sixes. Hope he strikes the ball big and entertains the crowd. Rajasthan bowlers will be way of this West Indies' giant.
It will be a battle between RCB batting Vs RR bowling.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Daniel Vettori (captain), Mayank Agarwal, KP Appanna, Sreenath Aravind, Arun Karthik, Raju Bhatkal, AB de Villiers, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Muralidharen Gautam, Chris Gayle, Mohammad Kaif, Abrar Kazi, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Charl Langeveldt, Andrew McDonald, Abhimanyu Mithun, Muttiah Muralitharan, Karun Nair, Dirk Nannes, Ryan Ninan, Harshal Patel, Asad Pathan, Luke Pomersbach, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rilee Rossouw, Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad, Saurabh Tiwary, Vinay Kumar, Vijay Zol.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Shreevats Goswami (wicketkeeper), Owais Shah, Ashok Menaria, Johan Botha, Kevon Cooper, Ankeet Chavan, Brad Hogg, Amit Singh, Siddharth Trivedi, Aakash Chopra, Abhishek Raut, Aditya Dole, Ajit Chandalia, Amit Paunikar, Amit Singh, Deepak Chahar, Dishant Yagnik, Faiz Fazal, Gajendra Singh, Pankaj Singh, Sreesanth, Samad Fallah, Stuart Binny, Sumit Narwal, Brad Hodge, Dinesh Chandimal and Paul Collingwood.