Already knocked out of the tournament’s play-off stage, Delhi Daredevils have just pride to play for but Royal Challengers Bangalore have a lot at stake when the two teams clash in an IPL match at New Delhi on Friday.
In a complete contrast to their last year’s performance, Delhi have not looked even a pale shadow of themselves. With nine defeats from 12 matches, it has only gone from bad to worse for the home side.
In the current scenario, however, they can play without any pressure. There is no burden of expectations on the misfiring batters and out-of-sorts bowlers. They now have nothing to lose and can just go on to play party-poppers.
Delhi’s top order has failed for inexplicable reasons.
Bangalore, who may still be recovering from a rude David Miller shock, cannot afford to take a step wrong as the fight for the play-offs is tight.
Sitting at the top, Chennai Super Kings are almost assured of a berth in the knock-out stage but there is a close battle among Mumbai Indians, Bangalore, Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals for the remaining three slots for the play-offs.
In their last four matches at the league stage, Bangalore play three against teams already out of the race — Delhi, Kolkata Knight Riders and Kings XI Punjab.
So, before they clash with strong contenders Chennai in their last match on May 18 before the play-offs, Bangalore would look to consolidate their position in these matches.
However, it may be tricky for Bangalore since laggards Delhi, who have nothing at stake, may come up with a surprise performance on their day and may spoil their chances.
Batting is not a worry for Bangalore. They have been consistently scoring in the vicinity of 200 while batting first and have chased the targets easily with Chris Gayle in explosive form.
But the way they were blown away by the Miller storm in their last match against Kings XI Punjab, bowling is certainly a concern for them.
For the four matches in a row, the Bangalore side have conceded more than 170 runs — against Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan, Pune Warriors and Mumbai Indians.
West Indies paceman Ravi Rampaul has been brilliant upfront and at the death overs but R P Singh and R Vinay Kumar have proved expensive.
The best thing for Bangalore bowlers is that they are up against a struggling batting line-up.