Match 5 IPL 2017 (2017-04-08) @ Bangalore (MCS)
Bangalore have won 4 of the last 5 matches between these two sides. Only de Koch's big innings in a run chase last season stopped the figures being 5 to 0.
Both teams have batting line ups weakened by injuries. RCB are missing Kohli and de Villiers is extremely doubtful. They are the two batsmen that helped their team amass scores 227 and 246 here last season. Delhi lost de Koch and Duminy before the start of the season and Rishabh Pant has been away from the side following the loss of his father.
RCB lost their first match of the season on Wednesday. Apart from new signing Tymal Mills and Yuzvendra Chahal their bowling was terrible allowing the Sunrisers to score 207 in their 20 overs.
Delhi will be playing their first match of the season. They will be hoping to improve on their 6th place last year. Despite losing de Koch and Duminy they have a well-balanced side. Overseas players include batsmen Sam Billings and Corey Anderson, allrounder Chris Morris and new signing in form bowler Kagiso Rabada.
The Bangalore pitch has traditionally been high scoring. The average winning first innings score is 196. Last season two scores of 191 were chased down. The team batting first here will need to score big to have any chance of winning. 56% of IPL chasing teams win here.
With both teams missing key batsmen I have RCB as the slight favorites for the match. But the 2.4 available on Betfair for Delhi is the value bet so I have backed them early. If they bowl first so much the better.
RCB were going well trying to chase down 207 on Wednesday when a brilliant run out by Ben Cutting changed the course of the match. They were 115 for 2 after 11.3 over with Jadhav on 30 off 15 balls he was run out.
The run out broke Jadhav's partnership with Travis Head. Head was out the next over leaving Watson to bat with the late middle order and the RCB's long tail. Both performed poorly. Last season with de Villiers and Kohli firing the tail was not needed. It was exposed again on Wednesday in the same way it was in the final last year.
The promising sign for RCB was openers Gayle and Mandeep Singh both got starts. Gayle got 32 off 21 including 3 sixes and Mandeep got 24 from 16 before they both were out to spin bowling. If one of them can bat big today against a predominately seam attack, it will give the rest of the order more freedom.
Tymal Mills made a successful debut against SRH. He picked up a wicket and went for 7.8 runs an over. 12 of those were in the penultimate over. The star of the attack was spinner Yuzvendra Chahal who returned figures of 1 for 22 from his four overs.
The worry for RCB was that five other bowlers were tried and they all went for over 10 an over. Watson looked poor conceding 41 runs in 3 overs. RCB need more from their 2nd top wicker taker from last season. Aniket Choudhary went for 55 off his four overs.
RCB's bowling was their weak link last season. While Mills strengthens the attack this will be countered unless Watson can return to form or one of the Indian bowlers can improve.
Quinton de Kock was Delhi's top scorer last season with 445 runs. He was their top batsmen in 54% of the matches he played in. His injury means other players will need to step up.
Sam Billings should open with Shreyas Iyer. Iyer will need to improve on his poor season last year where he only scored 30 runs in 6 matches. Billings had a terrible T20 Blast for England last summer but produced some good innings for Islamabad United in the PSL. This included a match winning 78 off 50 balls against Quetta.
The Indian players Sanju Samson and Karun Nair can bat 3 and 4. Samson scored 291 runs last season and Nair 357.
The big hitting New Zealander Corey Anderson will replace Duminy in the middle order. He played 4 games for Mumbai last season scoring one 50. He is inform following a 94 off 41 balls against Bangladesh in January.
Pant will keep wicket and bat at 6. He scored 198 last year with a strike rate of 130. Chris Morris will provide power down the order. Last season he scored 195 runs at a massive strike rate of 179. His 82 off 32 balls to almost get Delhi up against the Lions last year will never be forgotten.
The Delhi bowling attack is based around seam. Amit Mishra is likely to be their only main line spinner. Last season he was their equal top wicket taker level with Chris Morris on 13. He went at an economy rate of 7.5.Recent signing Kagiso Rabada should play. He has limited experience in T20s but excels at death bowling. He has been a regular in the South African Test and One-Day side. He picked up 3 for 25 when South African bowled out New Zealand for 149 in Auckland last month.
He will be joined by South African Chris Morris he took 13 wickets last year at an economy rate of 7. He is in form for South Africa in both One-Day and T20 cricket. His ability to take wickets at the start of the innings will be vital for Delhi.
The South Africans will be joined by Indian seamers Mohammed Shami and Captain Zaheer Khan. Khan took 10 wickets last season with an economy rate of 7.8. Shami might be the weak link. Last year he went at almost 10 an over. He has not featured for India since the Tests against England last November.
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