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|AB de Villiers||90||39||10||5||230.77|
|Quinton de Kock||18||16||1||1||112.50|
It’s a bottom of the table clash between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Delhi Daredevils at Bengaluru as both teams try and find a way towards the upper half of the table. On paper, both teams have everything that they need to win consistently. RCB has two of the world’s best batsmen in its playing eleven backed up by some very exciting players and DD has possibly the most explosive lineup in the competition. Neither of the two sides has been able to convert that potential into performance, though. Which team will finally register its second win in IPL 2018?
RCB suffered a massive defeat against Mumbai in its last match. The stats will show that Virat helped them get close but the reality is that the match was over well before the end of the inning. This was RCB’s third loss in their four matches and time is running out for the team to turn this season around.
Luckily, they will be up against possibly the only team in this competition to have done worse than them so far. Virat took the decision of dropping Brendon McCullum from the top of the order and going for Corey Anderson instead to strengthen the middle order.
We think that RCB will stick with the combination for at least one more match, although, Chris Woakes could find his place in jeopardy. Colin de Grandhomme or Tim Southee is likely to replace Woakes for this match. We would personally go for de Grandhomme since he adds so much with the bat in the middle order as well.
The form of Virat Kohli is a big plus because he is a player that can go on a roll in the tournament. RCB is missing a big inning from one of its other top-players. AB de Villiers is in good for but getting out to soft dismissals. We think he is due a big inning any time soon and it could be Delhi that bears the brunt of the Kohli-de Villiers show.
Quinton de Kock will be playing against his former franchise and maybe that will give him some added motivation. He is sure to be attacked with some spin upfront.
RCB has a problem in the middle order, though. Mandeep Singh seems to be at his best when coming in with a few overs to go while Sarfaraz Khan has been a disappointment. Washington Sundar has promise but he is still not the finished article.
RCB is also struggling big time with its death bowling. Perhaps that could be a reason to include Southee ahead of de Grandhomme. Mohammad Siraj was good in the last match, Umesh Yadav started well also. Sundar and Chahal will be tested against the aggressive Delhi batting, though.
M Vohra, Quinton de Kock, V Kohli, AB de Villiers, M Singh, Corey Anderson, Washington Sundar, CR Woakes, YS Chahal, Umesh Yadav, M Siraj.
It does not matter what changes the franchise seems to make because the Delhi Daredevils are not permanent fixtures near the bottom of the table. They are currently scraping the absolute bottom and will be very keen to win this match.
Here is the thing. The Delhi Daredevils have a good side but seem to be struggling to pick the right balance.
There is no reason for someone like Vijay Shankar to be in a T20 team. He does not have the pace or the power hitting ability to be a threat in either one of his disciplines. They must pick someone like Prithvi Shaw instead because Rahul Tewatia batting at number 6 is an absolute travesty.
Delhi has a lot of batsmen that go very hard like Jason Roy, Rishab Pant, and Glenn Maxwell. This also means that they are likely to lose a couple of wickets early in a lot of the games.
Gautam Gambhir and Shreyas Iyer need another batsman in the lineup to help shore the inning otherwise the tendency to implode is going to be very high.
The Delhi Daredevils have so far failed to bat consistently or bowl with any sort of conviction.
They are playing an out of sorts RCB team but to think that they are going to just turn up and win is a huge mistake. The likes of Tewatia, Shami, and Nadeem could be taken apart by the RCB batsmen.
We like the presence of Boult in the side because he provides the Delhi Daredevils with a genuine wicket-taking option up front. The problem has been at the death. Morris needs to step up and be the go-to bowler in this situation but he has been unable to be his reliable self.
Mohammad Shami is also just too expensive in this format for his teas good. If Shami is not taking wickets then his place in the playing eleven should not be taken as granted.
The one match that Delhi has own so far has been down to a brilliant inning by Jason Roy. We have a feeling that another such inning from one of their top batsmen will have to be needed for them to win the match.
Bengaluru is a venue where run scoring can be an absolute treat. Maybe Rishab Pant who has shown excellent form without really cashing in could be in line to score a massive score?
The Delhi Daredevils come into this contest an unsettled side with plenty of answers to look for. Gautam Gambhir’s leadership could be the difference for them from here on in.
G Gambhir, JJ Roy, RR Pant, Glenn Maxwell, Shreyas Iyer, R Tewatia, Chris Morris, V Shankar, Shahbaz Nadeem, Harshal Patel, TA Boult.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Some rain has been forecast for the match day in Bengaluru although the hope is for an uninterrupted match. The pitch is going to be very interesting to see. The first match in Bengaluru was high scoring and it seemed like the old Chinnaswamy pitch was back. The second match held there, though, was played on a surface that slowed up and made shot-making difficult.
We think we can expect a good batting wicket for this match and scores to reach the 180 mark.
RCB has lost just one match in their last five matches against the Delhi Daredevils. The two sides are pretty evenly matched. Both of them have dangerous batsmen that can win them the game but have been inconsistent. Both the teams are struggling with their bowling lineup. We think that RCB has a better chance of winning this match thanks to the presence of Kohli and de Villiers, though.
Back the Royal Challengers Bangalore to win.
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