Super Kings v Royal Challengers, IPL 2014, Ranchi May 17, 2014

Royal Challengers in battle for survival

35

Match facts

Sunday, May 18, 2014
Start time 1600 local (1030 GMT)

Play 03:28
Hattangadi: RCB better off chasing against CSK

Big Picture

Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore are playing each other for the first time, more than 30 days into the tournament. While Super Kings are all but through to the playoffs - for them to miss out on a spot in the last four, they would have to lose four games in four, and even then they could go through on net run rate - the demands are much harder on Royal Challengers, who cannot afford any slip-ups in their four remaining matches, given their delicate mid-table standing. Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals are primed to take three of the playoff spots, but the remaining spot is expected to be a scramble between Royal Challengers, Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Royal Challengers avoided the embarrassment of being trampled upon for three consecutive games at home thanks to Yuvraj Singh, whose blazing fifty gave their campaign fuel. They would have to hit peak form going forward and while the batting looks in better health, the bowling hasn't been up to the mark. In their last four games, Royal Challengers have conceded 170, 191, 198 and 187. They don't have a bowler in the same mould as Sunil Narine, who can consistently bowl four tight overs even if he fails to pick up wickets - perhaps young legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal comes closest. Royal Challengers wouldn't want to be forced into making changes to their bowling every game, certainly not at this stage, so they'll be hoping to finally hit upon the right combination on Sunday.

Super Kings haven't had to make too many changes and a relatively settled unit is partly responsible for their success. David Hussey has been included in the squad but he is likely to come in only once Brendon McCullum flies home for the birth of his baby. Super Kings made heavier weather of their chase against Royals in their last game than they would have liked, but MS Dhoni - with some help from Ravindra Jadeja - calmly saw them through, again.

Form guide

Royal Challengers Bangalore WLLLW (completed games, most recent first)
Chennai Super Kings WWLWW

Where they stand

Chennai Super Kings - Second place, with eight wins in ten games
Royal Challengers Bangalore - Sixth place, with four wins in ten games

Players to watch

Yuvraj Singh has made up for lost time with two consecutive fifties, but big runs continue to desert Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli. Both are yet to score fifties, though Gayle has played four fewer games. Given Royal Challengers' bowling weaknesses, it will come down to their batsmen to win them games and a strong top order platform is essential or else the responsibility falls on Yuvraj and AB de Villiers, again.

Super Kings have not got the best out of Mithun Manhas, who has a highest of 13 in five innings. A middle-order batsman, he has been batting at No. 7 and often comes in only towards the end of the innings. For now, it doesn't make much of a difference to the team since it is doing well. But a promotion to give him more of a chance to get runs, and keep his confidence high, might be good, looking at the long-term - he will be needed should their strong top and middle order falter at any stage.

Stats and trivia

  • Super Kings have not been bowled out even once in this tournament. Their specialist bowlers Mohit Sharma and Ishwar Pandey have not been required to bat at all
  • Royal Challengers' Yuzvendra Chahal has picked up 12 wickets in ten games at an impressive economy rate of 6.48 - the best by an uncapped player so far in the tournament (minimum 5 overs)

Quotes

"I have sort of spoken to [Stephen] Fleming and he said that I will be a middle-order player, and with Brendon McCullum due to go home for the birth of his baby, I'll definitely get an opportunity to play."
David Hussey on his role at Super Kings

"I'm definitely staying out of that sort of thing. It's not in my nature to get involved in that sort of stuff. It was a heat-of-the-moment thing."
Royal Challengers pacer Mitchell Starc says he doesn't want to be involved in another incident like the one with Kieron Pollard

Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Greatest_Game on May 18, 2014, 15:39 GMT

    Are Gayle, Patel & Kohli competing to see who can bat the slowest? Patel eked out 10 off 14 - SR 71.42, Gayle ponderously accumulated 46 off 50 - SR 92, & Kohli dazzled with 27 off 29 - SR 93.1, &. The top 3 & Rana made 84 off 95 balls, or 60% off 80% of available balls, leaving the REAL batsmen 25 balls to make 55 runs, or 40% of the runs off 20% of the available balls. Those figures are so different its like they were playing in different formats!

    Before the match, I wrote that either Gayle & Kohli would lose it for RCB, or AB & Yuvi would win it for RCB. I was almost right, but I forgot Mr. Extras - he scavenged 9 off balls missed by batsmen, & 4 off wides that did not cost a ball! Yep, Yuvi made 13 at SR 144, AB 28 at SR 200, Ahmed 4 at SR 400 … but Mr Extas made 13 at SR ∞ (infinity)

    RCB's Mr. Extras should have been the player of the match! He made 7 more than CSK's Mr. Extras, at a match saving SR ∞. He was the difference that gave RCB the win. Mr. Extras - Whaddaplaya!!!

  • android_user on May 18, 2014, 10:30 GMT

    gale the superb inning and virat the chase

  • android_user on May 18, 2014, 9:53 GMT

    congratulations brendon

  • dummy4fb on May 18, 2014, 8:15 GMT

    Dropping Kholi is no solution probably at best he can be relieved of captaincy and given to AB and Kholi asked to play more freely to bring the best out of him.Present IPL teams like MI with Rohit as captain SRH with Shikar as captain are absolutely clueless.Kholi is unable to take captaincy pressure so relieve him off it will work wonders

  • psychicsaint on May 18, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    Expecting a repeat of 2011 IPL final... RCB is the most over-rated team with most inconsistent players besides ABD and Virat.. Gayle seems to have handed over his entertainment show to MaxMiller combo this season..

  • Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on May 18, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    @Snambidi I guess then Yuvraj deserves to be in the final 4, not RCB :P But even so, I believe, individual brilliance should not be the criteria to make the final 4. Whichever team plays the best from now on should take that last spot. Also, Yuvi had a pretty bad IPL till the last two knocks. Agreed, they were good, but again, they were in Bangalore, on a good batting pitch against less than perfect bowling attacks. I do wish that he continues this form all the way to the WC if he can, but we'll wait and see for that. However, I will be supporting RCB and SRH today because should they both win, it will become an extremely interesting race to the playoffs.

  • espncricinfomobile on May 18, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    To me RR or Punjab is going to win this time as they are the only teams who have manged to win from tough situations consistantly.

  • dummy4fb on May 18, 2014, 6:55 GMT

    RCB PLAYING XI Should be: Patel, Gayle, Zol, Kohli, Villiers, Yuvraj, Morkel, Starc, Harshal patel, chahal & jakati.

    Chennai's XI Should be: Smith, Bmac, Raina, Baba Aparajith, Du plessis,Dhoni, Jadeja, Ashwin, Mohit, Hilfenhaus, & Pandey.

  • Snambidi on May 18, 2014, 6:22 GMT

    I agree with the comment of Mr.JK posted at 5.42 GMTon 18th may 2014 that none of the three teams SRH,KKR& RCB DESERVES TO BE IN THE last 4 line up because of their far below performance in the entire tournament so far. But the way. In which Yuvaraj performed to lift RCB under odd circumstances deserves a special Berth, In fact Yuvaraj Singh is the Best all rounder. In this IPL..that's why he is the Best Paid Indian. In the final of World Cup T20 too he performed badly. But can we forget the 6 Sixes in a single over against Broad of Eng & the 9 glorious Sixes he despatched over the fence in the last match he played? Every cricketer has ups& Downs. So let us choose Yuvaraj to be the lucky winner of the TeamRCB to reach the final Four. There after it is a matter of the day' performance of team as a whole for every team. Any ways, T20 Indian League is becoming interesting.

  • Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on May 18, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    @Snambidi I wouldn't say they are the most deserving based on how they barely performed. That would make themt he least deserving. But the other two in contention, SRH and KKR haven't done much either, so no one "deserves" to be in the final 4. Its simply a matter of who plays the best out of these 3 teams now.

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