Delhi Daredevils v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL, Kotla May 16, 2012

Bangalore look to stay alive


Match facts

Thursday, May 17, Delhi
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

How rapidly prospects change in the IPL. Two days ago, Royal Challengers Bangalore were on a three-match winning streak, with healthy chances of making the playoffs. Then they lost to Mumbai Indians, one of their competitors for a top-four finish, and later that day another competitor, Chennai Super Kings, beat Kolkata Knight Riders, whose position is far healthier than that of Royal Challengers. Now Royal Challengers need to win their last two games, both away from home, to have a realistic chance of qualifying, but even that may not be enough if it comes down to net run-rates.

It gets harder. The first of Royal Challengers' two must-win games is against Delhi Daredevils, league leaders and the first team to secure a playoff berth. It's at the Feroz Shah Kotla, where the pitch and conditions seem customised for the home side's hard-hitting batsmen and battery of fast bowlers. Daredevils also have two games remaining and one victory will guarantee a top spot, which will give them a second chance of making the grand final should they slip up in the first.

Form guide

(most recent first, completed games)

Delhi Daredevils: WLWLW
Royal Challengers Bangalore: LWWWL

Watch out for

Daredevils' team composition: There are several voices asking for Andre Russell to be included at Ross Taylor's expense. But Daredevils don't need a seam bowling allrounder because they already have Irfan Pathan and the strongest pace attack in the IPL. What they need is an in-form overseas batsman to act as ballast in a top-heavy batting line-up, which is why they are persisting with Taylor, desperate for him to shun the form that has brought only 107 runs at a strike rate of 87 in nine innings. Taylor made a duck in his previous innings, against Kings XI Punjab, and Daredevils have to decide between persisting with him and giving Aaron Finch, the only overseas batsman on the bench, a run before the playoffs.

Royal Challengers' misfiring bowlers: They have the longest tail in the IPL because they play five specialist bowlers - Vinay Kumar batted at No. 7 in the previous game. Yet their bowling attack, despite having Zaheer Khan and Muttiah Muralitharan, is the second most expensive of the tournament, after Deccan Chargers who are at the bottom of the league. That is largely because Royal Challengers' home venue, the Chinnaswamy Stadium, has the best batting surfaces and some of the smaller boundaries in the tournament. However, even away from home, Royal Challengers have conceded 8.19 runs per over. Again, only Chargers fare worse. Perhaps the more helpful pitches at the Kotla will strengthen Royal Challengers' weakest link.

Stats and trivia

  • In 13 matches, Royal Challengers have taken only 12 wickets in the first six overs, when the fielding restrictions are in place. Their average of 50 per wicket and economy rate of 7.69 during this period both the worst in the tournament. Daredevils, on the other hand, have taken 21 at an average of 29 and economy of 7.33.
  • Daredevils' batsmen have the best run-rate in the first six overs this season - 664 runs at 7.90. Royal Challengers score at 7.00 in this period, but Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers have usually made up for that later in the innings.
  • The head to head between these sides after nine matches is 5-4 in Daredevils' favour. They lost the first match this season, in Bangalore, by 20 runs.


"Obviously before playing RCB, we will make our strategies and plans. We need to get him [Gayle] out early. Our plan would be to restrict their scoring and bowl them out as soon as possible … Pressure would be slightly less but we will look for wins in remaining fixtures."
Umesh Yadav, Daredevils fast bowler

"It gives me immense pleasure to announce that RCB is the first sports team in the world to officially become carbon neutral, without the purchase of carbon credits but through fan driven initiatives."
Sidhartha Mallya, Royal Challengers Bangalore owner

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2012, 14:16 GMT

    I think DD should let Taylor open and give him free license to go for it. if he gets a few in the middle it may give him the confidence he needs and since the field is in he may get lucky with few mishits which he desperately needs, some luck going his way.

  • iqbal on May 17, 2012, 14:15 GMT

    The decision by Sehwag to persist with Taylor is really puzzling. Taylor is woefully out of form. Not only is he out of form and gets out with low scores, he takes forever to make those low scores. Unlike, say Kohli, who also keeps getting out cheaply, but at least Kohli looks fluent while he is in the middle while Taylor is wasting balls trying to find his form. As Sehwag is not playing, they should drop Taylor and play both Finch/Russel.

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    yEs BanGloRe oNe TenSiOn Is OvEr ThaT PuNjaB wIn NoW tHeY HavE 2 FoCuS oN tHe GamE BanGloRe CoMe oN ShoW yoUr GamE i ThiNk PiTcH iS SuiTabLe FoR BoWlerS So VeTtOrI shOulD coMe In PlacE oF DiLsHaN...

  • fatir on May 17, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    Everyone talking about Finch/Russel but where the hell is Doug Bracewell,is a good bowler and handy with bat

  • Nishant on May 17, 2012, 9:55 GMT

    Ross Taylor should have given the chance. DD to win this IPL firepower at end of the inning is needed, that could be provided by non other than the Newzeland captain itself. Instead for todays match warner or mahela get rested and give chances to russel and finch. As if DD losses its two matches still will be safely placed at 2nd position.. ALL THE BEST DD>>>>

  • adithya on May 17, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    rcb is a one man team.dd will thrash rcb to the cleaners.they never play as a team they rely on individuals whereas delhi is peaking at the right time.rcb bowling is the weakest one in this can score 200 easily against dd win the toss and bowl first.u will win this match

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2012, 8:55 GMT

    lot of ppl r calling for dropping of ross tayler....agreed he is in awful whom do we replace him with? maxwell/flinch/russel? me...u need a batsman lower down the order who cn play spin well...n tayler is d best of the lot in the DD squad...n thats why he shud be played @3 in coming matches to help him find his form..once that happens..DD would be unbeatable..

  • Raghu on May 17, 2012, 8:49 GMT

    I dont know why RCB is not giving enough chances to asad pathan. They just played him in one match and they took him off. he is a hard hitter capable of scoring 150+ sr and they need to give him an other chance.

  • Raghu on May 17, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    CSK has its NRR at +.21 and RCB has its NRR at -.07. if CSK loses this first match then the NRR will come down realistically to maybe +0.15. RCB now will have 2 matches to make up this NRR. Its not that hard to cover a difference of +.2 NRR in 2 matches.

    MI anyway has lesser NRR. They will need to win the last match. Their task becomes much more difficult if RCB wins their last 2 matches.

    The litmus test for RCB is today. If they win today, in all probablity they will be going through to semis as their next match is against deccan, the less said the better`

  • Dummy4 on May 17, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    Bathinda11, dude.... Mahela still hasn't found his touch, seriously? have u been watching tha matches? A player is out of touch when u see them playing like Ross Taylor does right now but just because a batsman isn't among runs consistently, you cannot say he is out of touch.. An out of touch batsman cannot punish a quality baller like Lasith Malinga with a strike rate of 200+ while playing beautiful cricket shots!!

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