Pune, May 10: A confident Royal Challengers Bangalore will take on Pune Warriors India in game 57 of IPL 5 at the Subrata Roy Stadium in Pune on Friday, May 11.
Pune Warriors will play for pride after crashing out of this season's IPL, while the Royal Challengers will look to strengthen their chances of qualifying for the play-offs.
Warriors, who lie on eighth position, will look to put an end to their miserable run of six straight defeats, while RCB come into this game with two wins in a row which lifted them to the fourth spot with 13 points.
Relying on big hitter Chris Gayle, RCB have their own problems in the batting order. Gayle, who scored an unbeaten 82 to guide the team to a nine-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians on Wednesday, seems to be winning most of the games for his team which is filled with talent.
Royal Challengers have made significant changes in their playing XI for the previous two games. Skipper Daniel Vettori opted to sit out which allowed RCB to include legendary spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.
Though RCB have been relying on the Gayle-de Villiers duo, Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan and stand-in skipper Virat Kohli have struck good form recently.
Their bowling looks too good for Warriors with Zaheer Khan and R Vinay Kumar in good form. Vinay Kumar's early strike against Mumbai will certainly boost his confidence.
RCB will start favourites in this tie against Sourav Ganguly's depleated team. The skipper, with 261 runs in 13 matches at an average of 20, struggled to perform upto the standards of a competition like IPL.
Failing to adjust to the T20 format, Ganguly misfired upfront, consuming to many deliveries with a strike rate of just above 100.
Pune's team management will have to take a tough call on Ganguly's inclusion in tomorrow's clash. Australia's captain Michael Clarke could lead the side in the remaining games.
No surprises if Ganguly is dropped from the Warriors playing XI, while RCB may have their own problem of dropping either Muralitharan or Dilshan in case skipper Daniel Vettori returns.
Pune Warriors: Sourav Ganguly (captain), Ashok Dinda, Callum Ferguson, Raiphi Gomez, Harpreet Singh, Dheeraj Jadhav, Kamran Khan, Murali Kartik, Harshad Khadiwale, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Nathan McCullum, Anustup Majumdar, Mithun Manhas, Angelo Mathews, Ashish Nehra, Manish Pandey, Jesse Ryder, Marlon Samuels, Rahul Sharma, Steven Smith, Tamim Iqbal, Alfonso Thomas, Robin Uthappa, Shrikant Wagh, Luke Wright.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Daniel Vettori (captain), Mayank Agarwal, KP Appanna, Prashanth Parameswaran, Arun Karthik, Raju Bhatkal, AB de Villiers (wicketkeeper), Tillakaratne Dilshan, 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, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rilee Rossouw, Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad, S Thiyagarajan, Saurabh Tiwary, Vinay Kumar, Vijay Zol.