Bangalore, Apr 16: When IPL 5 started, Royal Challengers were one of the favourites to win the tournament. But the way they have begun, that tag might be slipping from them. They will get another chance at home to reassure their fans as they host high-flying Pune Warriors in Game 21 on Tuesday night at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
RCB are surprisingly languishing in the basement of the points table. They are eighth with just one wine from four games. Pune, one of the lesser fancied teams, is in second position with three successes out of four attempts.
The worrying factor for RCB is their bowling in the final overs. They were hammered by Chennai Super Kings in Chennai and it was the same story on Sunday night against Rajasthan Royals. Rajasthan scored 103 runs in final seven overs against RCB.
RCB are always dependent on their main three batsmen to win them games. If Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers fail, as it was the case on Sunday, the rest will capitulate.
“There is lot of expectation from the top four batsmen to do their job but they can't do it every time and guys in the middle need to step up,” captain Daniel Vettori said after the loss on Sunday.
Vettori also rued the lack of a fifth bowler in the team.
“That probably was the root of the problem. This is something we need to rectify quickly. We have to work very hard and need to bounce back in the next game,” he said.
Saurabh Tiwary, the $1.6 million recruit for RCB, is becoming a liability day by day. RCB fans vented their ire against Jharkhand youngster after another dismal showing with the bat. One does not understand RCB's tactics to have Tiwary in the playing XI even after regular failures.
Pune come into this game after shocking defending champions Chennai Super Kings by seven wickets at Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium. They are looking good under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly.
The home team will be desperate to get back to winning form on Tuesday night but will Pune allow that to happen?
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.
Pune Warriors: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Imtiyaz Ahmed, Eklavya Dwivedi, Callum Ferguson, Ganesh Gaikwad, Harpreet Singh, Dheeraj Jadhav, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Kamran Khan, Murali Kartik, Harshad Khadiwale, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Nathan McCullum, Mithun Manhas, Mohnish Mishra, Shrikant Mundhe, Ashish Nehra, Tim Paine (wicketkeeper), Manish Pandey, Wayne Parnell, Sachin Rana, Jesse Ryder, Rahul Sharma, Jerome Taylor, Steve Smith, Alfonso Thomas, Robin Uthappa, Shrikant Wagh.
Match starts at 8 PM IST
Also playing on Tuesday, Deccan Chargers Vs Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur at 4 PM IST