Royal Challengers Bangalore v Chennai Super Kings, IPL , Bangalore March 23, 2010

Bangalore hold aces against southern rivals


Match facts

Tuesday, March 23
Start time 2000 (1430 GMT)

Big picture

Bangalore and Chennai are capital cities sharing a traditional rivalry but when extended to the third edition of the IPL, there is little debate over which team is better placed going into Tuesday's match-up. Bangalore are top of the IPL table while Chennai are bruising physically and mentally.

Both teams suffered blips in their respective starts to the tournament before winning the next two games. However, Chennai's Super Over defeat at home to Kings XI Punjab on Sunday, when they failed to chase 137, the fitness problems of two crucial players, MS Dhoni and Justin Kemp, and repeated failures in their experiments with the fifth-bowler slot are serious causes for concern. Manpreet Gony, who struggled against Punjab with both bat and ball, Joginder Sharma and Sudeep Tyagi have all been tried with poor results.

Contrast that to Bangalore's resurgence. There has been stability in their attack with the five frontline bowlers retained in their three successive wins; targets high, low and tricky have been chased ruthlessly with Jacques Kallis unbeaten in this IPL, and with three fifties in four games; and backing up a formidable opening pair of Kallis and Manish Pandey is a line-up with considerable international exposure, which Chennai's bowlers, barring Muttiah Muralitharan, may struggle to contain.

The absence of Dhoni hurt Chennai in their failed chase against Punjab; his recovery from an injury to his arm has been gradual, and coach Stephen Fleming had said he could take the field in the game against Mumbai Indians on March 25. Chennai, who could slip down further from their current fourth position in the event of a loss on Tuesday, need an urgent recovery with their star player missing.

Team talk

Bangalore will be tempted to retain the combination that has won them the last three games. Eoin Morgan, though, thanks to the success of the openers, hasn't had much time in the middle and Bangalore will be keen to witness him perform.

Chennai could leave out Gony after his disappointing turn-out against Punjab. Chennai will have prepared a contingency measure for Kemp, who hurt his back, bowling just one ball and not coming out to bat. In the event of his absence, Sri Lankan allrounder Thissara Perera remains an option, so does Makhaya Ntini, should Chennai aim to strengthen their bowling. C Ganapathy, a fast-bowling allrounder, who is a crucial member of the Tamil Nadu set-up, could fill in if Gony's left out.


Bangalore 3 Chennai 2

The teams shared honours in the first edition, with Chennai beating Bangalore at the Chinnaswamy Stadium by 13 runs, and Bangalore prevailing at Chepauk by 14 runs. The league stages in South Africa followed a similar pattern as Chennai triumphed in Port Elizabeth by 92 runs, followed by Bangalore surviving by two wickets in Durban. However, Bangalore had the last laugh, sealing an easy win in the semi-final by six wickets, with Pandey and Rahul Dravid seeing them through.

In the spotlight

Murali v Bangalore top order: Kallis and Pandey have been dominant while opening. While Kallis, with all his experience, has the wherewithal to combat Murali, Pandey has only faced the offspinner once. He proved adept against Shane Warne in Bangalore's ten-wicket win, showing solidity in defence and picking the variations to find the boundary. While Murali generally doesn't prefer bowling within the first six overs, Chennai may adopt a different strategy to halt Bangalore's success at the top.

Matthew Hayden v Dale Steyn: Steyn has clocked close to 150 kmph this tournament and has been economical, working well with his opening partner Praveen Kumar. He is foremost in Anil Kumble's plan of bouncing out Indian batsmen. While the ploy may be designed more to target someone like Suresh Raina, who was found out in the World Twenty20, Hayden's naturally audacious approach presents a different challenge.

Prime numbers

Anil Kumble has bowled 45 dot balls in this IPL, Steyn too has 45 and Praveen Kumar has 43. They are part of a list of six players with the most dot balls in the competition; Murali has 46 to his name.

Bangalore have conceded 180 runs in the Powerplay in this IPL, at 7.19 an over. They are third in the list of most economical teams in the first six overs, with Deccan Chargers leading with 5.95, followed by Kolkata Knight Riders at 6.92. Chennai, with 7.68, are in fifth place.

The chatter

"We wanted Kallis to bat for the 20 overs and he has been doing that. He has been anchoring one end and when required he has been taking on the bowlers. He is a great player and with his ability to bowl he is a great asset. We hope that this continues."
Anil Kumble, the Bangalore captain, sums up Kallis' role, which he has lived up to with much success thus far.

Siddhartha Talya is an editorial assistant at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 24, 2010, 13:27 GMT

    CSK is having tough time without Dhoni

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    Lack of dhoni presence is felt by CSK

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2010, 15:03 GMT

    Raina is the key here, I think Chennai should bowl first and dismiss Jacques early and then get the others.

  • Craig on March 23, 2010, 14:36 GMT

    Kallis - best T20 player at the moment, unreal for someone who was a selfish test batsman.

  • vijay on March 23, 2010, 14:29 GMT

    kallis wont be success this time and his not out strike come to end.. and big hayden today sky the kumble ball to all over the parks.. common hayden success for csk..

  • mahi on March 23, 2010, 14:23 GMT

    Kallis is the dangerous one. He is a man, a real cricket God. We saw how the opposites suffer when he stands.

    RCB is not one man team!!! They have others to display!! But Kallis does not give them chance!!


  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2010, 14:13 GMT

    wish rcb wins. but rcb weakness is they do not have a good sixth bowler. if any one bowler has a bad day, then there is nobody to bowl and rcb may well lose the plot.

  • Srivatsa on March 23, 2010, 14:11 GMT

    well lets consider raina and hayden went up to score 200+ even then RCB is gonna make it... match against KXIP is live infront

    come on RCB... thrash CSK...!!

  • Dhananjaya on March 23, 2010, 14:10 GMT

    Enjoyed the comment by "Wanderer.Forever" - "Also, RCB needs to be grounded a bit...". Reminded me of the story of crabs in a bucket... It's funny and interesting to analyse how we humans think...

    I read and enjoy reader comments mainly to analyse the human psychology. Rediff is a good case study in its own way though most of it is crap. Cricinfo reader comments are bit more balanced, probably because of the strict moderating. On the flip side, I can see that the latest comment on this article is at 6:33 AM GMT, which is around 11 AM IST. While Cricinfo may not need the Rediff kind of cheap popularity, as it is already quite popular, it is worth a thinking for the editors and management of Cricinfo as to why a web portal allows users to comment on a article, whose life span is probably less than a day, while the moderating in itself takes almost half a day... Any solutions to this without compromising on quality...?

  • suraj on March 23, 2010, 13:56 GMT

    well i think royal challengers bangalore would like to be optimist against chennai super kings rather then pessimist...

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