Bangalore sweat on bowling problems
Match factsSunday, May 6
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
Big PictureAfter ten games, Royal Challengers Bangalore are still struggling to make the top four. Last year's runners-up have just two wins at home (and a point from a washout) and they have a chance to improve that record when they take on the bottom-placed Deccan Chargers. The biggest worry for Royal Challengers is their bowling. Their captain, Daniel Vettori, is not striking enough and none of their other strike bowlers are even close to challenging the leading wicket-takers so far. Vettori had even offered to drop himself to accommodate Muttiah Muralitharan, but the Sri Lankan offspinner was against such a move, saying Vettori has a right to play every game as captain. It may not be a bad idea to bring in Murali nevertheless, as he has eight wickets from four games. Royal Challengers have lost two in a row and must come up with a bowling combination to complement their explosive batsmen if they are to script a turnaround.
For Chargers, apart from glossing over defeats, their coach Darren Lehmann must be sick of talking about fielding lapses. Chargers spilled and misfielded against Pune Warriors, but it didn't cost them because their batsmen provided the cushion of runs. The old habits returned against Chennai Super Kings, where they ended up chasing around 20 more than they should have. They're still waiting on JP Duminy to recover from his finger injury. He missed the last game against Super Kings and is a doubtful starter in Bangalore as well.
Form guide(completed games, most recent first)
Deccan Chargers: LWLWL
Royal Challengers Bangalore: LLWWW
2011 head-to-headThese teams played each other once last year, with Chargers winning by 33 runs in Hyderabad.
Players to watchZaheer Khan may be Royal Challengers' leading wicket-taker with nine wickets from ten games, but he's still bowling below his potential. His team needs a match-winning performance or two to shore up the bowling attack.
Cameron White has scored 78, 74 and 77 in his last four innings. He had a disappointing 2011 season but has bounced back with some telling contributions. His partnership with Kumar Sangakkara in Cuttack won Chargers the game, but he lacked adequate support against Super Kings.
Stats and trivia
- Chris Gayle has bowled just one over in this IPL. He gave away 21 runs.
- Chargers lead the head-to-head between the two sides with five wins in nine games.
Quotes"I have seen the pitch. It looks fast. Pace and bounce in it is normal. It is a good wicket as expected."
Darren Lehmann on the Chinnaswamy pitch
"I will opt out if it is needed. I have said from the start that we need to get out four overseas players and we do that every game. If it's right for me to sit down then it's fine with me."
Daniel Vettori on the possibility of dropping himself for Murali
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo