Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL 2017, Bengaluru April 15, 2017

Another Kohli-Smith face-off


Match facts

Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rising Pune Supergiant
Bengaluru, April 16, 2017
Start time 2000 local (1430 GMT)

Play 02:54
Hogg: Dhoni has to stand up and be a leader

Head to head

Overall: The two teams have faced off only twice, in IPL 2016, with RCB winning both times.

The last time they played in Bengaluru, Virat Kohli's unbeaten 108 helped the home side chase down the 192 target with three balls to spare.

In the news

Before the match against Mumbai Indians, Kohli had said Chris Gayle was "a top contender to start in every game" but with the Chinnaswamy surface being drier than usual, combined with the West Indian's poor form, it remains to be seen whether RCB will tweak their batting. Shane Watson, who captained RCB in the first three matches, will probably remain sidelined for extended periods through the tournament.

Steven Smith's return to the Rising Pune XI helped their batting, even though they had to leave out Faf du Plessis. With Lockie Ferguson going at an economy rate of 11 against Gujarat Lions, Pune may choose Adam Zampa's legspin over Ferguson's pace on a Bengaluru pitch that had much for spinners to exploit. They will be forced to think about how many legspinners they would want to play though.

The likely XIs

Royal Challengers Bangalore 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Virat Kohli (capt), 3 AB de Villiers, 4 Kedar Jadhav (wk), 5 Pawan Negi, 6 Mandeep Singh, 7 Stuart Binny, 8 Tymal Mills, 9 S Aravind, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Samuel Badree

Rising Pune Supergiant 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Rahul Tripathi, 3 Steven Smith (capt) 4 Manoj Tiwary, 5 Ben Stokes, 6 MS Dhoni (wk), 7 Ankit Sharma, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Lockie Ferguson/Adam Zampa, 10 Rahul Chahar, 11 Imran Tahir

Stats that matter

  • Gayle has outstanding numbers against the frontline Rising Pune legspinners - he has scored 51 off 30 deliveries against Imran Tahir and 44 off 16 balls against Zampa, in the CPL and the Big Bash League.

  • The only Rising Pune bowler to dismiss Kohli is Ashok Dinda, who was dropped in the last game. Against Tahir and Zampa, Kohli has scored 75 runs off 42 balls.

  • Rajat Bhatia has been Rising Pune's second-best bowler so far this season (economy rate of 7.85), but Bengaluru is easily his least favourite venue as far as the numbers go: in 14 overs in the IPL, he has figures of 0 for 145. His economy rate of 10.35 is his worst among all IPL venues where he has played more than one match.

  • How Rising Pune use Tahir remains to be seen. In the death overs since 2014, his economy rate has been 8.56 and has taken 36 wickets at an average of 14.08. In the middle overs in the IPL this season, he has taken four wickets and only conceded 29 runs in 42 deliveries.

  • Tymal Mills has never bowled to Ben Stokes in a T20 game. Stokes scores at a strike-rate of 166 in the last five overs while Mills has taken 31 wickets in the same period, averaging 13.25 with an economy rate of 7.36.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Venkat on April 16, 2017, 14:28 GMT

    RPS has such a weak bowling attack that their bowlers can't even defend 200 runs. Smith can't win the game all by himself. Another big defeat in sight for RPS . I pity the franchise owner.

  • viswanath on April 16, 2017, 13:20 GMT

    Pune must pick Dan christian , he can score runs as well bowl well in death. What RPS needs is a good batting line up. They must pick jaydev unadkat. They must give washington sundar a chance, this guy bowls decent off-spin and score runs too. This should be RPS XI today. 1.Rahane 2.Tripathi 3.Smith 4. MSD 5. Stokes 6.Tiwary 7.Dan christian 8. Washinton sundar 9. Shardul takur 10. Tahir 12. Unadkat . Four fastbowlers and 2 spinners. This is a decent team, which bat deep and has decent bowlers. Last match smith picked a poor team. They had only 6 batsman. What smith must do , is give freedom for their big hitters like dhoni and stokes.

  • Cricinfouser on April 16, 2017, 13:09 GMT

    The best playing 11 I feel would be Mandeep Singh V Vinod V Kohli A b devillers S watson K Jadhav S binny S aravind Y chahal S badree T mills

    Virat and ab should play down the order and provide their support with the experience they posses . Mandeep should be given the responsibility of anchoring the innings. V Vinod can play the role of a pinch hitter and bring some quick score. Watson and Jadhav can give a solid base in the middle. Binny can support the team by sustaining the wicket till the end.

    As bowlers, binny and Aravind can start. Badree and Chahal can control . Mills and Watson can kill at death.

  • Vishal on April 16, 2017, 11:05 GMT

    RCB has been a form provider team. Last year Yusuf never scored until he single handedly won against RCB. This tym it was Pollard. Now Dhoni too has a chance against this not weak but nt performing bowling. RCB's bowling clicks after 5-6 matches everytime. And guys saying Rohit a better captain after seeing IPL, guys even i can captain well if I have those bowlers

  • gpnpra3602120 on April 16, 2017, 10:25 GMT

    it's raining here in Bangalore, though not looking like a threat for the match

  • Rahul on April 16, 2017, 9:42 GMT

    IPL is like the Barclays Premier League - exciting. Test Cricket is like international friendlies in football - boring.

  • Praveen on April 16, 2017, 9:39 GMT

    Wonder why kohli is reluctant to play avesh khan..... He may be a youngster with a medium pace.... But worth trying.... Guess with badree looking sharp.... Virat should go with Watson post Gujarat Lions match... If Gayle does not fire.... Have Watson and kohli open.... The best 11 possible for RCB at this stage...... Gayle/watto,vk,kedar,abd,mandeep,binny,sachin baby,badree,chahal,mills,aravind.... If Gayle plays.... Get him to bowl couple of dart overs.... Jadhav can roll over his arms with ABD keeping just for those 2 or 1 over.... Virat has to think creative with the resources available.... Would say, Mills has been ok... Not bad as projected!!!! He needs to be groomed and given the license to go for wickets not just controlling runs... Chahal should bowl this natural deliverys... Not try to imitate badree.... Guess a RCB turnaround is just about the corner

  • Krishen on April 16, 2017, 8:54 GMT

    IPL is by far the best event in yearly cricketing calendar with huge popular support.

    That is not surprising as IPL involves world's best cricketers, upcoming cricketers, best coaches, commentators & match officials in a game of cricket with an attractive duration of 3+ hrs. New standards for batting, bowling, fielding are being established by players from various countries.

    It is also nice to see young players from BD & AFG participate in IPL.

    RCB may appear to have an edge in the match 1 on account of batting over RPS but an upset win for RPS can't be ruled out. Both teams have significant gaps in bowling & fielding that may well determine the outcome of match.

    After IPL controversy the key players except MSD & Ashwin from CSK (most consistent team in IPL history) have gone to GL. RPS has significant gaps in batting / bowling / fielding. This has left excellent player like MSD in a wrong team. Selective criticism by some of MSD only shows double standards practiced by them.

  • Vikram on April 16, 2017, 8:54 GMT

    pretty much an inconsequential game in the big scheme of things.

  •   badboycricfan on April 16, 2017, 8:38 GMT

    No mate binny is a brilliant player these days all that practice at home of playing with balls and between his legs has made him an exceptional player all thanks to mayanti...

  • No featured comments at the moment.