Royal Challengers v Super Kings, IPL 2014, Bangalore May 23, 2014

CSK want slide to end, RCB want season to end


Play 02:52

Match facts

Saturday, May 24, 2014
Start time 1600 local (1030 GMT)

Big Picture

When the two teams met the previous weekend, Chennai Super Kings seemed a well-oiled machine, dropping only two matches against the red-hot Kings XI Punjab in their first ten of the season to be gliding towards a top-two spot. Now, like a distance runner who began sprinting too early in the race, Super Kings are flagging as the finish line nears and three losses in a row have allowed Kolkata Knight Riders to catch up.

That top-two spot is no more a foregone conclusion, and the bowling hasn't been top notch in recent times, but it's not all gloom. They are still guaranteed a playoff place, their mighty batting still scares most oppositions, and their final game is against the already eliminated Royal Challengers Bangalore.

For the third season in a row, Royal Challengers have come up short, failing to make the playoffs. "I am sad and apologise to all amazing RCB fans for the teams poor performance in this IPL. It is heartbreaking that the star line-up failed," their owner Vijay Mallya tweeted. Perhaps the one thing of interest for Royal Challengers fans is that the team will switch from its regular red-and-yellow outfit to a green jersey for this game as part of the franchise's 'Go green' drive.

Form guide

Royal Challengers Bangalore: LLWWL (completed games, most recent first)
Chennai Super Kings: LLLWW

Where they stand

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Seventh, with 10 points after 13 matches
Chennai Super Kings: Second, with 16 points after 13 matches

Previous encounter

In a low-scoring encounter on a ragged spinning track in Ranchi, an AB de Villiers cameo tilted the match Royal Challengers' way when the two teams met last weekend.

Watch out for

One of the troublesome spots for Super Kings has been the quick-bowling partner for Mohit Sharma. The regular has been Ishwar Pandey, who has been tidy but has only five wickets in 11 matches. The other fast bowler they have turned to often is Australia's Ben Hilfenhaus, who has been expensive in his eight games. John Hastings was unimpressive in his first outing on Thursday, while Ashish Nehra also has had only one game. The other options they have are New Zealand's Matt Henry and Karnataka's Ronit More.

Royal Challengers could experiment with their XI in a game of little consequence. There have a fairly small squad (21 players), but they still haven't given a game to some of their lower-profile players. If the likes of Shadab Jakati and Sandeep Warrier aren't given a go in this match, then when?

Stats and trivia

  • Mitchell Starc needs two more scalps to reach 100 Twenty20 wickets. If he gets there on Saturday, he will be the joint-second quickest to get there, in 66 innings, only behind Krishmar Santokie who needed only 54.
  • Only two batsmen have more not-out innings than Dhoni's 60 (out of 164) in T20 cricket - Kieron Pollard (61 in 205) and Albie Morkel (76 in 214)

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Manoj on May 24, 2014, 10:10 GMT

    RCB deserved to lose. Keeping Gayle in the team for so long. Its the intent that matters. the guy was not even trying hard and the losses were not affecting him. He seems to be here just to party. RCB got what they deserved. One more loss coming up. you don;t expect Dhoni to lose 4 in a row.

  • Ravindran on May 24, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    LOL-CSK says RCB," we gave you 2 points to start our loosing streak of 3 we want a that same 2 points from you the start the winning streak of 3 matches to win the cup"

  • Ravindran on May 24, 2014, 9:46 GMT

    its very clear in all 3 last macthes that dhoni is doing the hitting only in last over even if his a capable why cant he send aswin or manhas before him and let them cut loose

    atleast at this point Dhoni and management should have realised this and look to use their full batting power.instead if we are goingto see another match where they are happy score the average score and rely on their bowling to help,its a game last in the halfway itself

  • Arun on May 24, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    CSK Team: D.Smith, F.DuPlesis, S.Raina, M.Manhas / B.Aparjit, M.Dhoni, R.Jadeja, D.Hussy, R.Ashwin, M.Sharma, M.Hendry / S.Badree, A.Nehra. S.Badree must play if B.Aparjit is not selected. A.Nehra will be much better option to bring some aggression in bowling. CSK might lose some Fair play points but CSK bowling unit is lacking this aggression that has shown by all other IPL teams. He might get smashed or fielded bad but Nehra can get into the batters when demands. Worth to try simply loosing last 3 matches without fight. Need to spice up something. Better performance expected from both teams.

  • Ravindran on May 24, 2014, 9:40 GMT

    at this point we can rewrite the saying "csk are best chasers" with "csk are worst when batting first".this is beacuse when they loose even 1 wicket cheaply they go back to defensive might have worked for in previous seasons when they had good middle order and terrific bowling attack.its all lacking this season.

  • Senthil on May 24, 2014, 9:38 GMT

    Overhyped Dhoni may do nothing but CSK might win and reach the top 2 where they will be meeting the team of IPL 7 KXIP. Whoever going to win the toss and choose bowling is going to win. Barring miracle only a first batting team can win here. Since both teams are heavy on batting and both teams lacks a good death over bowler. Anyway this all dead rubbers.

  • Ravindran on May 24, 2014, 9:36 GMT

    even if csk picks all its best bowlers in the playing 11,it will have the weakest bowling attack compared to other playoff teams.its a mistake they committed in the auction itself.

  • Ravindran on May 24, 2014, 9:31 GMT

    teams like mumbai and kkr are playing like usuall CSK.they lost initail matches,rectified the issues from root and cameback strongly.

    but csk this year ,with openers firing and dhoni saving few matches in the last over ,failed to correct their middle order and bowling weakness.unfortunatley its too late to do any experimentation.

  • Arun on May 24, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    Do Now or Never to CSK... All the best for both teams..

  • Azizul on May 24, 2014, 9:03 GMT

    RCB doesn't bowlers to restrict opposition under control. They have only super stars batsmen and over reliant on them. I think gayle has become a burden for them. Yes he has played some wonderful innings but most of these innings came at league games not at must win situation. In must win give gayle failed to scores. How ever other batmen could have compensate this damage if they had bowler. They have only two bowlers worth of mentioning one starc and other is chahal. All other bowlers were good for nothing. Even don't know how to bowl in good areas. They need couple of good spinners. Murali is past and he has not been playing well. This team doesn't have a all rounder worth mentioning.why csk and kkr are so good? csk has bravo and jadeza to perform both bat and bowl equally. Kkr has kallis and shakib and for this reason they are most balanced side. If any team want to dominate it must have to have two or three top class spinner. Hope next time we will see better team balance in rcb

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