About the Match
IPL is a long tournament and we’re almost in the middle of it. Playing in its 31st match are Royal Challengers Bangalore and Pune Warriors India on 23rd April at Bangalore’s home ground. The pitch has been known to produce high scoring and close encounters and nothing less is expected here. Both teams are coming after close game, but PWI was on the losing side and RCB won its last game. A victory for RCB would take it to the top of the table, but a victory for Pune would not make any significant changes to the table; having said that, a win for Pune would be much more important to keep their chances alive in the IPL final four run.
Pune Warriors India:
PWI hasn’t had the taste of success much often in its IPL history, let alone current edition. They showed glimpses of their potential in their last game against Kings XI Punjab, but then their bowlers ruined it in the death overs. The comeback of Yuvraj has certainly made their side stronger and Luke Wright has added to their strength. Their bowling so far has been good except the last game. They’ve tried three captains and still their team combination does not anywhere near settled. Pune has a nice blend of batting and bowling, but they haven’t been able to click together, and when they do so, it would be very difficult for the opponents to get past them.
Royal Challengers Bangalore:
With Royal Challengers Bangalore, the first thought that comes to the mind is about Chris Gayle. The big man is a nightmare for any bowling unit when he gets going. It doesn’t stop there; batsmen like Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers follow him and Dilshan accompanies him. Royal Challengers’ top four are certainly one of the best in the world. Earlier RCB has had a problem of losing wickets quickly after the top four, but with Sourabh Tiwary back in the side, the problem is sorted out. Their bowling looks good with R Vinay Kumar leading the purple cap race. RCB is a tough side to beat on any given day, and on their home ground it’s even tougher.
Can RCB win this one too to jump to first place and make it even tougher for Pune? It’s possible and probable too. RCB hasn’t lost a game at their home ground for quite some time now and it appears to be their fortress. PWI’s troubles with their team combination are hurting them big. RCB’s batting is a definitely top heavy, but more often than not, a game is lost or won at the top order. So heavy batting lineup and good enough bowling, I’d have to choose RCB as firm favorites for this game.
Royal Challengers Bangalore, 1.57 @ William Hill