Mid-table RCB bank on home record
Friday, May 9, 2014
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)
Where they stand
Kings XI Punjab: First, with 12 points from seven games
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Sixth with six points from seven games
With three wins in seven games, Royal Challengers Bangalore have plenty of catching up to do. After their defeat to Mumbai Indians on Tuesday, captain Virat Kohli said they needed to win at least five of their next seven to qualify for the playoffs. The good news is Royal Challengers are playing their next three games in Bangalore, where they have a strong record. The potential bad news? The weather. Rains have hit the city over the last couple of days and if the evening rain continues, there could be a truncated game.
Royal Challengers were set to chase more than they should have against Mumbai, due to the number of extras (25, including 12 wides). Having been set 188, they took the challenge to Mumbai at 94 for 1 near the halfway stage, but their second block of ten overs did not pan out so well. AB de Villiers was not as fortunate with the ramp shot like in the other night against Dale Steyn, and following his departure and Kohli's in quick succession, the fight was all but over. Back on home turf, however, Royal Challengers can be a handful. That is if the weather cooperates.
Kings XI Punjab went back to the top of the table after blanking out Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday by posting 231. While their batsmen have hogged the attention, their coach Sanjay Bangar gave due credit to the bowlers, pointing to the number of times they had taken ten wickets. Kings XI have achieved this twice and in their last game against Royal Challengers, they claimed eight. It is hard at this point to pick holes on Kings XI. The only thing that could bring them down is complacency.
Royal Challengers Bangalore LWLLL
Kings XI Punjab WLWWW
Watch out for
Gayle v Maxwell - When the teams last met in Dubai, the same contest was a dud. Both players didn't last longer than seven balls each. But both have shown that the size of the ground hardly matters, and at the Chinnaswamy, even spectators at the highest tier can't afford to nod off. Gayle has shown a weakness against swing with the new ball. Maxwell ripped into Super Kings' spinners so Royal Challengers may look to test him with pace.
Yuvraj Singh has had only one match-winning knock in seven games and his price tag is still weighing on him. Against Mumbai, Royal Challengers' hopes rested on him after de Villiers and Kohli departed, but he could only manage 6 off 10 balls. But Royal Challengers have kept their faith in him, knowing how he has shrugged off criticism with career-defining knocks in the past. But will they be willing to extend the rope?
Stats and trivia
- Out of 37 IPL games played at the Chinnaswamy, Royal Challengers have won 20. Last season alone, they won seven home games and their only defeat was against Kings XI
- Glenn Maxwell's 435 runs so far have come at a enormous strike-rate of 203.27. That's more than two runs per ball
The teams last met in Dubai where Royal Challengers posted a below-par 124 for 8. They were done in by a combination of swing from Sandeep Sharma and reckless batting from the top order. Kings XI were in a spot of bother at 88 for 5 before George Bailey and Rishi Dhawan saw them home by five wickets.
"We are really pleased to have George in the leadership role and he has made a lot of effort in getting to know the local boys. So the dressing room atmosphere is very good at the moment."
Kings XI coach Sanjay Bangar on captain George Bailey
"I haven't recovered fully. Still having some discomfort at this point in time, so I am just trying to monitor things as I go on."
Chris Gayle on his fitness
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo