About the Match
Both Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions have had pretty horrid seasons so far. Both these teams have got two wins each till now, but Bangalore have one extra point as a result of their washed out game against Hyderabad, and as a result, occupy the sixth position in the points table. Gujarat Lions, on the other hand, have two wins as well, but no extra points; and are right at the bottom of the points table. These two teams will now take on each other in the 31st match of the league at Bengaluru on 27th April, and both need to win this match at any cost in order to keep their campaign from entering do or die territory.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers have had a really poor season so far. They have won only two matches in eight games, and are at the sixth position in the points table thanks only to their wash out against Hyderabad. One of their two wins has come against Delhi, which was more about Amit Mishra losing his mind and the game for his team than Bangalore actually winning it. The other was against Gujarat, where Bangalore’s batting was in full flow, but Gujarat made a valiant effort in the chase, undermining a less than potent Bangalore bowling attack.
They have lost five of their other games, against Hyderabad, Punjab, Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata, and their last game, their second of the season against Hyderabad, was washed out due to persistent rain. Royal Challengers spent their first few matches without their captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers owing to fitness issues, but since their return, both have looked in decent touch. The issue for RCB seems to be an overdependence on these two players and Chris Gayle.
Bangalore would have hoped to start afresh against Hyderabad after their humiliating defeat against Kolkata, but the weather played spoilsport and now Bangalore cannot afford any more hiccups in their journey towards the business end of the league.
RCB have a good team at their disposal and should they fire collectively, this unit has a lot of potential. Their bowling is a weakness, but they have the batting prowess to cover up for it and its high time they start performing, as each game from here on would be a virtual must-win for them.
Gujarat Lions have not fared any better than Bangalore. They were beaten by Punjab in their last game, and are now languishing at the bottom of the table.
Gujarat started their campaign with two losses against Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad. But in their next match against Rising Pune Supergiant, Andrew Tye took a five-wicket haul and gave Lions their first win of the season.
This win could have led to a shift in momentum for them, but it was not to be. In their fourth game against Mumbai Indians, the batting did well, but the bowling again failed to defend the total. Then against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the bowlers gave away a massive 213 runs and the batsmen could not chase it down, despite a massive effort from Brendon McCullum.
Things were looking real bad for Gujarat; but against Kolkata, their captain Suresh Raina, displayed great all round skills and won the match for his team. But any hopes of sustaining this momentum were dashed by Punjab in their next encounter, where Gujarat never really looked like chasing down Punjab’s total of 188 and were beaten quite comprehensively.
Gujarat only have two wins from seven games thus far and are being hindered by some very obvious chinks in their armour. They need to fix these chinks as soon as they can and get back to winning ways before top four gets out of their reach.
Bangalore and Gujarat are facing each other for the second time this season. The first encounter was won by Bangalore, but they have been inconsistent throughout the competition. However, Gujarat has not been any better. This match is being held in Bengaluru, which offers some much needed home advantage to the Royal Challengers, and thus gives them the upper hand in this contest