Royal Challengers Bangalore
April 23 has not been a good day traditionally for Bangalore and same was the case this year. A few years removed from being bowled out for 49, the zero-time IPL champions were again bundled out for a mere 68 – this time by Sunrisers Hyderabad, who went on to win by nine wickets.
Any team can have an off day but the manner of Bangalore’s defeat was massively surprising. After all, this was a team that had four of their previous five so such a total annihilation was not expected at all.
The game was pretty much decided in Marco Jansen’s opening over when he completely dismantled Bangalore top order, dismissing Faf du Plessis, Virat Kohli and Anuj Rawat within a span of five balls.
Speaking of Kohli, having been relieved of captaincy burden, this was supposed to be a big tournament for him but so far he has struggled immensely. The golden duck against Hyderabad was his second in a row. It should ring alarm bells in RCB camp.
On the other hand, Rajasthan Royals’ batting has clicked beautifully of late. In their last two matches, they have amassed a total of 439 runs.
Jos Buttler has been on fire through this sequence, hitting back-to-back centuries. In fact, he has been on fire all season and is the runaway leader on the scoring chart with 491 runs to his name – 123 more than the next man on the list.
The plan for the Royals will be simple: win the toss and get Buttler to play as many of their allotted 120 balls as possible.
Dinesh Karthik has been one of Bangalore’s better batters this season. He, however, has a pretty ordinary record against Yuzvendra Chahal, who can be utilised to nullify the RCB finisher.