Royal Challengers v Royals, IPL 2014, Bangalore May 10, 2014

Batting woes drag RCB down

19

Match facts

Sunday, May 11, 2014
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)

Play 03:53
Time running out for Royal Challengers

Big picture

The last time Royal Challengers Bangalore met Rajasthan Royals, they narrowly avoided beating the record for the lowest total in the IPL.

The chances of a team folding for 70 on the Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch are small but Royal Challengers will need more than the comfort of home conditions to keep their tournament alive. Except for the first two wins in the UAE, they have been unconvincing, a problem magnified by the indifferent form of their batsmen. It is perhaps a fall-out of having built their batting around three top players. With two out of form, and the public struggles of Yuvraj Singh, one of the strongest line-ups on paper has been shaky on the ground.

Their bowling, one of the more settled attacks in the first half of the tournament, has also emerged as a concern. They were alarmingly generous with their lines, conceding 25 extras against Mumbai Indians and then struggled to drag the momentum back against Kings XI Punjab, allowing their batsmen to strike boundaries from the start.

In contrast, the Royals bowling has been far more disciplined and they have stuck to the template of keeping the opposition down to a manageable score while fielding first. The failure to chase a total of 132 would have come as a reality check after four straight wins and they would be keen to shrug the loss off and focus on consolidating their position in the top four.

Form guide (most recent first)

Royal Challengers Bangalore: LLWLL
Rajasthan Royals: LWWTW

Where they stand

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Sixth, with three wins from eight games
Rajasthan Royals: Third, with five wins in eight games.

Previous encounter

Royal Challengers were shot out for 70 against Rajasthan Royals in Abu Dhabi, losing four of their top five by the third over. Pravin Tambe picked up 4 for 20 but Royals did not put up the most dominant chase, losing four wickets on their way to the 71-run target.

Watch out for

While many consider Yuvraj Singh's lack of form the elephant in the Royal Challengers dressing room, Virat Kohli's failures are likely hurting them more. Before he fell for 0 against Mumbai in Dubai last month, Virat Kohli's last duck in the IPL was in 2008. He has already had three this season and his failures, perhaps, have been made even more significant by the mantle of captaincy.

He's been propelled from the supporting cast of the Kolkata Knight Riders attack to a lead role with Rajasthan Royals and Rajat Bhatia is warming up well to the additional responsibility. With nine wickets in eight games and an economy rate of 7.03, Bhatia has been doing his job of reining in the runs in the middle overs. He's also a handy bat, with 988 runs in 116 T20 games at a strike rate of nearly 119.

Stats and trivia

  • Of his 139 IPL innings, Virat Kohli has been dismissed for less than 10 runs only 23 times. He also shares the record for most ducks in this IPL - three - with Gautam Gambhir
  • Harshal Patel holds the record for the most expensive figures by a Royal Challengers bowler in the IPL. He gave away 56 in three overs against Kings XI Punjab
  • Three - the number of hat-tricks the Royals bowlers have, the most for a team in the IPL
  • Ajinkya Rahane is the only Royals batsman to have scored a hundred against Royal Challengers. His ton helped Royals put up their best score of 195 for 2 in Bangalore in IPL 2012.

Quotes

"It's like a switch. We just have to switch it on and we'll compete again."
Albie Morkel hopes the Royal Challengers batting unit finds its form soon

Rachna Shetty is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • espncricinfomobile on May 11, 2014, 14:21 GMT

    Rajasthan should go for cutting or cooper for richardson

  • 1979nan on May 11, 2014, 13:39 GMT

    If RCB has to start winning, please leave out yuvi. Additionally VIrat has to start playing like its an ODI wherein he is a no. 1 batsman in the world.

  • dummy4fb on May 11, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    Why do all blame Yuvi..!? Anyway he's playing better than kohli..!

  • dummy4fb on May 11, 2014, 12:45 GMT

    the answer to the Yuvraj problem is VIJAY ZOL..young dashing inform batsman needs to be played..

  • Snambidi on May 11, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    The main foes for RCB are their own batting. Besides this ,challenging foe has also moved on to Karnatake.it is none other than the Rains. The rains owing to low Pressure in the Indian ocean which played Havoc over Kerala is likely to strike the Karnataka.If this happens,it is likely the RCB will have to say Good Bye to this IPL season 7& hope for next year, Last season with magnificent knocks from Gayle,RCBhad a chance to win the cup but last few matches deceived their venture.

  • android_user on May 11, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    Kohli - Please give rest to yuvraj singh..

  • Greatest_Game on May 11, 2014, 11:16 GMT

    The problem is Kohli. His batting is poor, and his captaincy worse. The leadership is doing him no good, and is affecting the team. Yuvraj is averaging more, &has scored more.

    Virat has grown up. He is not the brat he one was. He unfortunately has not grown up enough to be an inspiring leader. That leadership is sucking the strength out of him, and the team. Time to face facts!

  • dummy4fb on May 11, 2014, 10:11 GMT

    Pravi: Unfortunately you can't replace batsman with bowler so R. Rampaul replacing Gayle is out of the question. Having mentioned Ravi though, he'd could come in for Starc for some fresher legs, which would be good for Starc considering that it can be tough for young fast bowlers to play matches in bulk. The only possible international replacement for Gayle is R.Rossouw, who is in fact the only international top order batsman on RCB's bench. Vijay Zol is the only other batsman who could make his way into the team. RCB might have some issues concerning depth as they go later into the season which might hurt their chances of making it into the finals series.

  • dummy4fb on May 11, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    Ideal squad for RCB GAYLE, PATEL, KOHLI, YUVRAJ, AB D, TANMAY MISHRA, PATEL, STARC, RAMPAUL, AARON, CHAHAL. Yuvi needed to spend some time up the oeder, mishra can have some big hits at 6, can also bowl. No need to bring in morkel rampaul will b better option, he can hit a six aswell and can give early break trough. If 2nd wicket falls after 12 overs then send in ab. Tanmays international experience will work better than rana, zol or takwale.

  • android_user on May 11, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    Rcb dreams in this IPL is shattered... from now it is very difficult to come back..unless there is any miracle happens... I would rather pick Vijay zol in place of Yuvi.. and ravi RAM Paul for Gayle..

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