About the Match
Rising Pune Supergiant and Royal Challengers Bangalore occupy the fourth and seventh positions respectively in the IPL points table. These two teams will now take on each other in the 34th match of the league at Pune on 29th April. A win here will help Pune in maintaining their position in the top four. For Bangalore though, a playoff berth might already be out of reach, and another loss here will take away any minute chance that might be left as well.
Rising Pune Supergiant
Rising Pune Supergiant have played eight games and won half of those, and are in a tricky spot sitting at the fourth position in the points table. Pune were looking really good after defeating Mumbai, but the loss to Kolkata in their last game means they will have to start afresh here.
Pune started their campaign with an emphatic win over Mumbai Indians, chasing down 185 runs with ease. However, they fizzled after that and couldn’t translate the opening success into wins in the matches thereafter.
They lost three matches in a row, against Punjab, Delhi and Gujarat, and kept making changes to the side in a bid to find the perfect winning combination, but failed to do so.
Then against Bangalore, they finally found the right combination and were able to get a much required win. Then in the next match against Hyderabad, MS Dhoni took Pune home in a nail biter. Pune completed a hat-trick of wins in their next game against Mumbai, holding their nerves to win a close contest.
With three wins in a row, Pune looked like gaining some momentum, but without the services of Ben Stokes, they could not overcome a clinical Kolkata, getting defeated in a convincing manner.
Despite this loss, the Pune team looks settled, and they should not be much affected by the defeat in their last game. They will be facing Bangalore, who have had a horrid season so far. Pune have already defeated them once this year and they surely would be confident of repeating the feat in this game.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers have had a really poor season so far. They have won only two matches in nine games, and are at the seventh position in the points table. 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 six of their other games, against Hyderabad, Punjab, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata and Gujarat, and one of their games, 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. The results have not improved much even after their return though, and the issue for RCB seems to be an overdependence on these two players and Chris Gayle.
Bangalore would have hoped to get a win against Gujarat, they had already beaten them once this season, but Gujarat were superior in all departments and now Bangalore need to win all their remaining matches in order to stand any chance of making it to the playoffs.
RCB are a good team and should they fire collectively, this unit has a lot of potential. Their bowling is a weakness, but the batting has not been able to cover up for it. They have suffered as a result and now they simply need to win, as each game from here on is a must win for them.
RCB and Pune are facing each other for the second time this season and the match being held in Pune, offers home advantage to the Pune team. In addition to this, Pune have had a better season and they have already beaten Bangalore once, and this gives them the upper hand in this contest