New Delhi: Struggling to stay in the Play-offs hunt, a below-par Royal Challengers Bangalore will have to rise to the occasion when they take on the already-eliminated Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.
RCB, who have just three wins from 10 games, have to win their remaining four games to have any chance of making the play-offs. Given their ordinary run so far in the IPL, RCB don't evoke much hope.
Skipper Virat Kohli had minced no words after their last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad, saying they were simply not good enough and even questioned the character of his team. Kohli, the team's leading run-scorer with 396 runs at 49.50, was understandably upset after RCB were unable to chase down a modest 147. The batsmen had also let them down against Chennai Super Kings in the previous game, managing just 127.
The team has always relied heavily on Kohli and AB de Villiers but it is high time the likes of Mandeep Singh, Quinton de Kock and Brendon McCullum deliver. All-rounder Washington Sundar has been disappointing so far, taking just four wickets in seven games at an average of 48 and economy rate of 9.60. With the bat too, he has done not much to write home about.
The RCB have done alright with the ball and they would hoping to maintain that at the high-scoring Kotla. Pacers Tim Southee, Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Siraj have impressed in parts. Kohli looked relaxed ahead of the must-win game as he went out for dinner with teammates in his home city. On the field tomorrow, he will be wanting nothing less than 100 percent from his under-performing unit.
They take on Delhi, a squad that is already down and out after losing to Sunrisers yesterday confirming its early exit from the competition. Even a special effort from Rishabh Pant did not prove to enough for the hosts.
Delhi's bowling coach James Hopes and captain Shreyas Iyer insisted that there is a lot to play for. There is a possibility that Delhi management might give an opportunity to Nepal spinner Sandeep Lamichhane and South African pacer Junior Dala, who both are yet to get a game. "I think we will be discussing the names of all people in the squad in the next 24 hours. We are out but it is important that we win the remaining three games," said Hopes.
Analysing Delhi's another sorry campaign, Hopes added: "We were just not able to win close games. We threw it away against KXIP the other day. There were other games too which we should have won."
"We had to work with depleted bowling resources (after injury to Kagiso Rabada and Chris Morris) but that is part of the game," he added.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain), Quinton de Kock, Brendon McCullum, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Siraj, Corey Anderson, Parthiv Patel, Tim Southee.
Delhi Daredevils: Shreyas Iyer (captain), Rishabh Pant, Glenn Maxwell, Gautam Gambhir, Jason Roy, Colin Munro, Mohammed Shami, Amit Mishra, Prithvi Shaw, Rahul Tewatia, Vijay Shankar, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Shahbaz Nadeem, Daniel Christian, Jayant Yadav, Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Trent Boult, Manjot Kalra, Abhishek Sharma, Sandeep Lamichhane, Naman Ojha, Sayan Ghosh, Liam Plunkett, Junior Dala.