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|Colin de Grandhomme||4.0||0||16||1||4.00|
|AB de Villiers||1||4||0||0||25.00|
|Colin de Grandhomme||8||8||1||0||100.00|
The IPL is hotting up as the teams near the bottom of the table start to make a comeback into the tournament. RCB is one of those teams that is blessed with some of the best batting talent in this tournament but has struggled to put together solid performances. A couple of important wins in their last few matches, though, has left them in with a good shot of making the playoffs if they continue in the same vein. Their opponents for this match are no pushovers, though.
CSK and an in-form MS Dhoni have an excellent track record against RCB. They have been going through a bit of rough patch and lost their last match against KKR as plenty of weaknesses were exposed.
An intriguing match with plenty on the line is in store.
The shift to Pune has not been the easiest for CSK. The flat batting pitch that the venue has served up this season has worked well for their strong batting lineup but has also allowed opposition batsmen to make merry. It has also exposed CSK’s weaknesses on the bowling front.
For a team that is also not the best fielding side in the tournament, defending totals has been tough and that weakness becomes really highlighted on small grounds with flat batting tracks.
CSK will have its hands full against RCB in this match. The last time these two teams met, CSK was able to pull off one of the greatest comebacks seen in IPL history thanks to a chase masterminded by MS Dhoni.
The reality of that result is that RCB dominated that contest for the most part and that it required an extraordinary effort from CSK to be able to pull off that win. The loss by CSK in the last match against KKR shows that they have very similar problems going into this match as well.
Let us start with the most obvious one. CSK cannot seem to be able to put together a bowling attack no matter what combination they try. The managements insistence on playing a struggling Faf du Plessis has meant that Sam Billings has to stay out of the team while injury to Deepak Chahar has forced them to play Ngidi and drop Tahir.
Both these decisions are mistakes in our opinion and need to be rectified.
An in-form Ambati Rayadu was doing the job at the top of the order and is now being forced to relocate to the middle order. With Raina struggling and players like Ravindra Jadeja, Karn Sharma, and Harbhajan Singh in the side, CSK has a very shallow depth of talent in both the batting and bowling departments.
Shane Watson and MS Dhoni will have to take the bulk of the responsibility of scoring runs along with Ambati Rayadu for CSK. Thankfully, Watson is in good form and Dhoni is setting the clock back many years. In a tournament filled with the biggest six-hitter of the world, MS Dhoni is sitting at the top of the six hitters list right now.
We have no doubt that this match will be another batting shootout between teams with exceptional batting lineups and very average bowling units. If for some reason CSK’s big three don’t fire then they could be in very deep trouble.
SR Watson, Ambati Rayudu, SK Raina, Dhruv Shorey, MS Dhoni, Dwayne Bravo, David Willey, Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Lungi Ngidi, SN Thakur.
We think that RCB could have very well in a similar position to CSK had a little more luck gone their way. Both teams are very similar in the sense that they have a very strong batting lineup and have struggled to get their bowling together.
In the last match against the Mumbai Indians, though, RCB finally seemed to have put together a combination that can bowl decently and keep them in the contest when the pressure begins to rise. We love the fact that Tim Southee is now a regular starter for this team because he brings so much to the table.
Southee can pick up early wickets, extract any swing that is available from the surface, and then come back to bowl pinpoint yorkers. Yuzvendra Chahal has had a very good series and thrives under pressure while Mohammad Siraj has shown promise as well.
Umesh Yadav is very hit and miss but thankfully de Grandhomme is being given more of an opportunity to bowl. The addition of Manan Vohra to the side has also allowed Kohli to play Brendon McCullum in the side ahead of Corey Anderson and that is a move that is sure to pay dividends at some point down the line.
McCullum may not have done anything of note in the IPL so far but there is just no way that he can be written off after a few matches. Vohra, de Kock, McCullum, Kohli, Mandeep Singh, and de Grandhomme are an awesome batting unit even without AB de Villiers.
Of course, if AB de Villiers is fit then he walks in the team in place of McCullum.
On paper, the RCB side is very closely matched to CSK but that has not shown as much in the performance of the team.
There is also another element to this match that should not be taken lightly.
Virat Kohli is the best batsmen in the limited overs of the game and is an absolute force of nature when it comes to the impact he has on games. We believe he will want to win this game and set the record straight against CSK once and for all.
Bengaluru vs Chennai is a charged game in India and is probably the closest that comes to a real bitter rivalry developing. Such situations bring the best out of Virat and we could see something special in this match.
Brendon McCullum, Parthiv Patel, V Kohli, AB de Villiers, M Singh, Colin de Grandhomme, TG Southee, Murugan Ashwin, YS Chahal, Umesh Yadav, M Siraj.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
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The weather forecast for the math is a hot day with no chance of rain. The pitch should be excellent for batting as it has been all season. It is natural to expect that the spinners will play a bigger role as the season progresses but that has not happened so far. We think that CSK will want a pitch that offers some help to the spinners but whether that happens or not is far from certain.
CSK has now beaten RCB in the last five matches that they have played against them. They have dominated their rivalry with RCB in all aspects and will want to continue that streak. We are, however, backing RCB to continue their resurgence and win this match.
Back the Royal Challengers Bangalore to win this game.