It’s ‘step up’ time for RCB and DD

While Delhi Daredevils sits at the bottom of the points table, Royal Challengers Bangalore has fared only marginally better, being ahead on net run-rate.

While Delhi Daredevils sits at the bottom of the points table, Royal Challengers Bangalore has fared only marginally better, being ahead on net run-rate.   -  PTI

Delhi Daredevils and Royal Challengers Bangalore will look to power through some early blues, when the two sides meet at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Saturday.

While DD sits at the bottom of the points table, RCB has fared only marginally better. Both sides have recorded one win in four outings, with RCB ahead on net run-rate.

READ: Death over bowling is something RCB needs to work on, says Woakes

RCB must urgently address concerns surrounding its death over bowling. In the last two fixtures, it conceded 70 (against Mumbai Indians) and 88 runs (against Rajasthan Royals) in the final five overs. The likes of Chris Woakes, Corey Anderson, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Siraj have to step up and deliver if RCB is to get back to winning ways.

 

The home team received a shot in the arm when New Zealand pacer Tim Southee joined the squad on Wednesday. Southee, who has recovered from an illness and is available for selection, could be the antidote to RCB’s death bowling woes.

While RCB has leaked runs in the back end of an innings, DD has faced a similar problem upfront. In its first match, DD was laid bare by a 16-ball 51 by Kings XI Punjab opener K.L. Rahul. The worrying trend has repeated on two more occasions, with Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians making merry in the Powerplay.

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DD assistant coach, Pravin Amre, however, believes that it is the batsmen who hold the key. The flat Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch, coupled with small boundaries, could make for big scores, Amre stated. “The ball really flies in Bengaluru. It is quite similar to Johannesburg in that way. A set batsman can turn out to be the match-winner,” Amre said.

The former India international recalled a historic occasion, witnessed at this venue five years ago. “I will never forget Chris Gayle’s innings (175 not out in 66 balls) here in 2013. It is still the record for the highest-ever individual score in the IPL. I was with the Pune Warriors team (as assistant coach) at the time,” Amre said, “Matches at Chinnaswamy Stadium generally provides real entertainment. That’s why we see packed houses here. We could well have a last-over finish on Saturday.”

Rain threat

Heavy rain forced Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) to call off its practice session here on Friday. Delhi Daredevils held a training session later in the evening. The match on Saturday could be affected by showers.