Royal Challengers look for 'away' surge
Match factsMay 2, 2013
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)
Given their current form, Pune Warriors will be desperately hoping their match against Royal Challengers Bangalore isn't a repeat of the carnage that took place in Bangalore a little over a week ago.
Since that match, Royal Challengers have lost consecutive away games but still are favourites going into this encounter. While it's easy to pin the losses on Chris Gayle's poor scores, the other batsmen haven't really had a substantial stay at the crease. They need this win to correct their dismal away record this season (four losses in four games) and get closer to sealing their playoff spot. Royal Challengers will need to be wary of Warriors, given that the tournament is almost over for the hosts and they will be looking to upset the chances of the bigger teams.
Inconsistent batting has dragged Warriors down this season and they seem like a team pulling in different directions. The failure of Indian batsmen, especially Robin Uthappa and Yuvraj Singh, has been damaging for them. Death bowling is another area where Warriors have suffered - in their last two matches, against Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils, Warriors conceded 62 and 63 runs respectively in the last five.
Pune Warriors LLLLL (Most recent first)
Royal Challengers Bangalore LLWWW
Watch out for..
After having spent most of the season on the bench and an insipid first game against Daredevils, Kane Richardson got a chance to showcase the skills that earned him $700,000 at the auction earlier this year. He took the big wicket of Michael Hussey with one that left the batsman after pitching, and also generated pace. He contributed with the bat, helping Warriors to a face-saving total after their line-up imploded.
After a string of good scores early on, Virat Kohli has suffered a slight dip in form. His last four innings have produced 45 runs. The focus in the last few days has remained on the Wankhede crowd controversy and the four away losses, but this match is a chance for the captain to get the team back on track.
Stats and trivia
- Royal Challengers have an away win-loss ratio of 0.83 (15 victories in 34 games), which is fifth among all teams. Mumbai Indians are on the top with a win-loss ratio of 1.43 (23 victories in 40 games).
- Rahul Sharma's duck - his eighth - in the last match has put him level with three other batsmen in the list of most ducks in the IPL.
- Virat Kohli needs 10 fours to become the eighth batsman to score 200 fours in the IPL.
"The boys are a good bunch and keep motivating themselves. But then I think we are not clicking together."
Pune Warriors' legspinner Rahul Sharma
Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo