Match 29 IPL 2017 (2017-04-25) @ Bangalore (MCS)
The teams are very different to the first match of the season which was won by the Sunrisers. AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli are back playing for RCB significantly strengthening their batting. The Sunrisers have also strengthened their batting replacing Cutting with Williamson as one of their overseas players.
The Sunrisers have won the last 3 matches between these 2 teams. This includes the final last season where they were defending 208 against a RCB batting-lineup that was playing its best ever season. The Sunrisers won the IPL last season thanks to great seam bowling and the batting of Warner. Warner has been in the runs again but his strike rate for the season is down. He is struggling to get the ball away and looks like he could do with a break. One of the key Sunrisers bowlers from 2016 was Mustafizur Rahman. He has only played one match this season. On the plus side spinner Rashid Khan has added an extra dimension to the bowling attack and Kumar is in fine form.
The Sunrisers have won 4 matches for 7 games. They lost their last match against Pune thanks to some indifferent seam bowling and a great knock from Dhoni.
RCB are at the bottom of the IPL table. They have had just 2 wins from 7 and desperately need a string of wins if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the play-offs. They were in a similar situation in 2016 and got to the playoffs due to extraordinary run scoring from Kohli and de Villiers. They will need the same kind of performances again.
RCB were bowled out for 49 by KKR on Sunday after making 213 for 2 against The Lions on Tuesday. The RCB batting line-up relies completely on 2 of Kolhi, Gayle, de Villiers and Kedar Jadhav getting runs. If this does not happen there is no depth down the order to bail them out.
The Bangalore pitch had a first innings average score of 176 in IPL matches before this season. This is 11 runs more than Mohali which is in second place. This season the 3 matches have had first innings scores of 157, 142 and 161. This suggests that the pitch might have got more bowler friendly.
RCB desperately need the win but they are dreadfully short again at the odds of 1.84. The Sunrisers are 15 points ahead on the Cricsq team ratings and the computer model makes them favorites despite being away from home. I have backed SRH to win at 2.18 on Betfair.
RCB scored the worst total in IPL history on Sunday when they were bowled out by KKR for 49 runs inside 10 overs. None of the batsmen could cope with the pressure from hostile fast bowling to Test cricket like fields.
The absence of form of Shane Watson leaves the RCB tail extremely long. Stuart Binny batted at 6 on Sunday. They are missing Rahul as a specialist Indian batsman this season.
Virat Kohli started the rot on Sunday when he was dismissed for a golden duck in the first over. He has 154 runs in 4 innings. His opening partner is Chris Gayle. Gayle looked clueless on Sunday crawling to 7 off 17 balls. To be fair there was little he could do as the wickets tumbled around him. He has 144 runs from 5 matches.
Mandeep Singh batted above de Villiers at 3. He has only 65 runs in 6 innings this season. De Villiers was back in the side on Sunday. He was out for 8 runs off 6 balls. He has 145 runs from 4 innings this season and is having problems with a sore back.
Kedar Jadhav is RCB's top run scorer with 175 runs in 7 innings. He has a strike rate of 159 runs per 100 balls. After Jadhav RCB is into the tail. Stuart Binny has managed just 77 runs from 6 innings. Pawan Negi just 35 runs from 4 innings.
When RCB scored 213 against a weak Lion's attack last Tuesday they must have thought they were about to surge up the table. The problem for them is if two of Kohli, Gayle and de Villiers do not perform the team collapses.
RCB will be pleased with their bowling on Sunday. They bowled KKR out in 19.3 overs for just 131 runs. At half-time they were hot favorites to win the match.
The 3 top wicket takers for RCB are spinners. Yuzvendra Chahal was exceptional on Sunday. He took 3 for 16 in his 3 overs. He has 10 wickets this season with an economy rate of 6.8. Badree got smashed for 18 in the opening over by Narine but recovered to take 1 for 15 off his final 3 overs. He has 6 wickets in just 3 matches with an economy rate of 6.2. RCB's third spinner is Pawan Negi. He took 2 for 15 off 3 overs on Sunday. Overall he has 6 wickets and is going at 6.1 runs an over.
Tymal Mills was back on Sunday as the overseas quick bowler. He took 2 for 31 off his 4 overs. He is preferred to Milne and Stanlake although they all have similar economy rates of 8.75 runs an over.
Sreenath Aravind and Stuart Binny are the preferred Indian seamers. Binny rarely bowls 4 overs. He has 3 wickets in 3 matches. Sreenath Aravind has taken 4 wickets in 5 matches with an economy rate of 9 an over.
Shane Watson has just 2 wickets in 5 matches and is going at 10.5 an over. He is also not getting any runs. He is not currently in the side with RCB preferring to go with 2 specialist batsmen and 2 specialist bowlers as their overseas players.
The Sunrisers batting has been mediocre so far this season. Since their first match when they scored over 200 against RCB they have only managed average totals.
David Warner has 282 runs but has struggled scoring at 129 runs per 100 balls. This is slow for him. He looked tired on Saturday against Pune scoring 43 off 40 balls.
Shikhar Dhawan has also scored slowly at the top of the order. He has 235 runs with a strike rate of 118. It might be a tactic for the Sunrisers to bat conservatively and keep wickets in hand but it is unusual for both openers to bat slowly.
Kane Williamson has been in at 3 the last 2 matches. He looks in great touch with 110 runs at a strike rate of 169. He should keep his place as the overseas player. Moises Henriques batted 4 on Saturday. He added the momentum to the innings scoring 55 runs off 28 balls. He now has 193 runs with a strike rate of 142.
Yuvraj Singh was unavailable on Saturday. He scored 62 in the first match against RCB but has only managed 34 runs in his 4 innings since. The Sunrisers will be hoping he can return to form. Deepak Hooda is also out of form with just 78 runs from 6 innings.
Naman Ojha has 54 runs from the 3 times he was required. He adds some power and stability down the order. Cutting has been replaced by Williamson as an overseas player. He has 51 with a strike rate of 196 from the 3 chances he has had to bat.
The Sunrisers played 4 Indian seamers against Pune on Saturday. Siddarth Kaul and Mohammed Siraj both went for over 10 an over as Dhoni accelerated at the end of the innings. It was a mystery as to why Moises Henriques did not bowl more that day. It is as if Warner forgot he was in the side after he bowled 1 decent over for just 4 runs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the top wicket taker in the IPL. He has 16 wickets with an economy rate of 6.3. Apart from him the Sunrisers are struggling with their seam bowling.
Ashish Nehra did not play against Pune. He has 5 wickets with an economy rate of 9.4. Siddarth Kaul has played 2 matches and gone for 9.9 an over. Mohammed Siraj has an economy rate of 10.1 an over. Last year's hero Mustafizur Rahman went for 14.1 an over in the only match he played.
Moises Henriques has gone at 9.1 an over and has been underused by Warner. Cutting went for 9.9 an over in the matches he played.
The spin bowling is stronger with Rashid Khan taking 10 wickets at 7 an over. He bowled well in the first few matches before having a dip in form. Against Pune he was back taking 1 for 17 in his 4 overs. Bipul Sharma has also bowled well going at 7.1 an over. Mohammad Nabi also went at 7 an over in the one match he played.
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