It’s a do-or-die battle for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), as they look to get off the rut of five losses. The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 season is getting into overdrive and the teams are looking to pick up momentum. Match #20 will see RCB take on Delhi Capitals (DC) at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on Sunday.
RCB were unlucky to be at the receiving end of Andre Russell’s mayhem, as they slumped to a fifth straight loss. DC on the other end, have lost their last two matches and are targeting a comeback to winning ways. Interestingly, RCB have won 13 of the last 14 against DC and have won five of the last six H2H games at this venue.
It has been a very poor season so far for the Royal Challengers, with low-key performances all through. They remain a top-heavy batting unit with AB de Villiers (156 runs), Parthiv Patel (163) and Virat Kohli (162) leading the charge. With none of the middle-order batsmen showing their intent, RCB look down for the count.
Even with the ball, barring Yuzvendra Chahal (nine wickets, ER 6.45), none of the RCB bowlers have been able to control the proceedings. The continued profligacy of Mohammed Siraj (ER 8.69), Umesh Yadav (ER 8.49) and Nitin Saini (ER 8.31) remains a big headache for Kohli.
After starting the season with two wins in three matches, DC fell to two successive losses. The inconsistent batting form of the top-order, including Shikhar Dhawan (152 runs, SR 116.92) and Prithvi Shaw (141 runs, SR 158.42) meant the aggressive runs of Rishabh Pant (158 runs, SR 179.54) are not bearing fruit.
With the ball, the wickets are shared among all the bowlers, with Kagiso Rabada (seven wickets, ER 8.03) leading the charts. It is the frugal Sandeep Lamichhane (four wickets, ER 7.33) that gives them hope, as DC look to get out of the rut.
Kohli loves leading from the front and the way he teed off against Kolkata in the last match showed his intent. His knock of 84 off 49 balls was almost a match-winning one and could be the start of great things.
Rishabh Pant has 112 runs this season from boundaries (13x4 10x6), which is more than 70% of his aggregate runs. His aggression could be vital for the chances of Capitals, as they target a return to winning ways.
Yuzvendra Chahal has been an exception for RCB, with his ability to control the run-rate and still take wickets. He has been the lone warrior so far and has nine wickets at a miserly ER of 6.45.
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