© PTI
Royal Challengers Bangalore have a slim chance of qualifying, but Delhi Daredevils have no hope of reaching the final four in IPL 7 © PTI

 

By Bharath Ramaraj

 

May 12, 2014

 

Game No 38 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2014 will be played between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Delhi Daredevils (DD) at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore. Both teams, especially Delhi, have struggled in IPL 7. Bangalore have won three of their nine games, while Delhi has been victorious in only two out of the nine games they have played. It is unlikely that either team will progress further in the tournament, but that won’t stop them from giving it everything when they take on each other.

 

Bangalore in their last game lost from a seemingly unbeatable position against Rajasthan Royals (RR). The duo of James Faulkner and Steven Smith took the match away from Bangalore’s grasp with some splendid power-hitting and deft placement. This came after Yuvraj Singh’s blitzkrieg and AB de Villiers’ superlative knock had taken them to a huge total of 190 runs on the board.

 

The only saving grace from the game for Bangalore was Yuvraj’s return to form. He opened up his stance and with his feet wide apart went onto play an enterprising knock. He also took an off-stump guard. However, Bangalore will be concerned by the fact that both Virat Kohli, the skipper of the team, and Chris Gayle continue to struggle for runs.

 

Their bowlers too have faded away slightly after a promising start in IPL 7. Only Yuzvendra Chahal with his brand of sliders and quickish leg-breaks continues to take wickets regularly. In the game against Rajasthan, their bowlers looked lost for ideas.

 

On the other hand, Bangalore’s opponents for the next game, Delhi, have been equally poor in IPL 2014. Delhi’s batsmen, other than JP Duminy, have only fired in fits and starts. Their skipper and star player, Kevin Pietersen, showed glimpses of coming back to form with some fine lofted strokes against Sunrisers Hyderabad, but they need more from him. The bowling line-up has largely lacked the penetrative ability to take wickets upfront. The inclusion of Rahul Shukla in their last match against Hyderabad was a move in the right direction, as he can bowl at decent pace. Shabhaz Nadeem, the slow left-arm orthodox spinner, does bowl with good control but they need genuine wicket-takers.

 

The track at Chinnaswamy stadium should continue to favour the batsmen, and the outfield is very quick too. The team batting first can sometimes lose the plot in an attempt to go for too many shots too early in the piece. The dew factor can come into play as well. One can only hope that both teams can raise their game to give the fans their money’s worth.

 

Squads:

 

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Chris Gayle, Parthiv Patel (wk), Yuvraj Singh, AB de Villiers, Albie Morkel, Muttiah Muralitharan, Mitchell Starc, Ravi Rampaul, Vijay Zol, Sachin Rana, Yogesh Takawale, Nic Maddinson, Sandeep Warrier, Tanmay Mishra, Harshal Patel, Shadab Jakati, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Ashok Dinda, Varun Aaron, Yuzvendra Chahal.

 

Delhi Daredevils: Kevin Pietersen (c), Dinesh Karthik (wk), JP Duminy, Ross Taylor, Mayank Agarwal, Murali Vijay, Manoj Tiwary, Saurabh Tiwary, Milind Kumar, Jimmy Neesham, Mohammed Shami, Jaydev Unadkat, Shahbaz Nadeem, Jayant Yadav, Rahul Shukla, Wayne Parnell, HS Sharath, Laxi Ratan Shukla, Kedar Jadhav, Siddharth Kaul, Rahul Sharma, Quinton de Kock, Nathan Coulter-Nile.

 

Time: 14:30 GMT | 20:00 IST

 

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(Bharath Ramaraj, an MBA in marketing, eats, drinks and sleeps cricket. He has played at school and college-level, and now channelises his passion for the game by writing about it)