Bangalore: The middle-order`s tendency to collapse and the lack of fifth bowler are the two areas of concerns for Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of their Indian Premier League match against Pune Warriors here on Tuesday.
After the win against Delhi Daredevils, things haven`t been going quite well for RCB skipper Daniel Vettori as his team lost three matches in a row.
The Kiwi is yet to find a pill which could get rid of his headache of filling up the fifth bowler`s slot.
The middle-order, especially the Indian batsmen Virat Kohli, Saurabh Tiwary and Cheteshwar Pujara have not been firing on all cylinders on a consistent basis.
The lack of fifth bowler in the side has been used to the hilt by oppositions.
The RCB fans not only saw this against Chennai Super Kings, but also in Sunday`s game against Rajasthan Royals who plundered over 100 runs in the last six overs.
Vettori, however, was hoping Chris Gayle to play a part as a fifth bowler to either take wickets or contain runs. But the West Indian could not live up to his expectations after he conceded 21 runs in his only over last night.
The time is probably ripe for mercurial Sri Lankan opener Tillakratne Dilshan to get a chance against the Warriors on Tuesday.
Even more, Vettori is very much concerned about the middle-order collapse in all the matches, except the opening game against DD in which South African AB de Villiers rescued the team with a flamboyant 60.
The Indian batsmen would like to put their hands up and consolidate upon solid starts.
Virat Kohli has looked good, but has not capitalised on the starts. He would look to reverse the trend against the Warriors.
Vettori, for a change, would like to turn the tables on Pune by opting to bat first -- provided he wins the toss -- on a strip, which he thinks, would help the batsmen and make life difficult for the team chasing.
On the other hand, though the Warriors are missing the services of key players like Yuvraj Singh and Graeme Smith, the current skipper and former India captain Sourav Ganguly has been inspiring the team in this edition of the IPL.
Under his leadership, they have lost just one match, against Kings XI Punjab, but decimated Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings convincingly. The team is placed second in points table.
First Published: Monday, April 16, 2012, 15:25