The league phase of the Indian Premier League allows every Team to play fourteen games, two against every other seven Teams, one home and one away. Out of the fourteen games, you need to win at least eight of them to ensure qualification. Yes, in a rare occurrence, CSK, back in 2010, qualified with just seven wins, after Mahendra Singh Dhoni clobbered Irfan Pathan for two humongous sixes, scoring the required 16 in the last over off only four balls. However, of you want to be in the safe boat early in the tournament, you should aim to win 8 league games.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore have played 5 so far, and won just one of them, and hence lie at the bottom of the table. Having lost four already, they can only manage to lost two more, out of nine games. In spite of the dire straits, RCB is a Team you simply cannot take lightly, for the incredible power they possess. Virat Kohli, AB Devilliers and Chris Gayle, three of the best T20 players ever, aggrandise the batting line up. However, AB will not be playing today’s match owing to an injury and this opens up a slot. Shane Watson and Stuart Binny handle the all-rounder’s department. Then there’s the brilliant Kedar Jadhav, who won them the lone game. They have Tymal Mills and Yuzvendra, two wonderful T20 bowlers. Samuel Badree, with his handy leg-spin, adds value to the lineup. On paper, they are easily the strongest Team in the league. Off it, though, they haven’t shone as much, so far.
Rajkot could just be the track they need to make an important comeback. ABD and Kohli must already be relishing a batting beauty. And if Rajkot indeed offers that, we could be in for a run fest.
Virat Kohli has started well with scores of 62 and 28 on wickets where the bowlers have had assistance. More than the number of runs he has scored, it’s how easily he has batted even as the rest of the batting struggled is what is important as far as RCB is concerned. Oppositions have managed to keep ABD quiet after that incredible comeback knock of 89 against Punjab. He’ll be itching to play one of those trademark knocks; so will be Chris Gayle who has had a quiet tournament so far, and is due to score today. Considering the fact that the curators at Rajkot will dish out a belter today, we think Gayle will sneak into the Team.
Shane Watson will have to make way for Chris Gayle, as Samuel Badree, the West Indian leg-spinner, with his form, has become indispensable. Kedar Jadhav, Tymal Mills will all find a place in the Playing XI; so will Yuzvendra Chahal and Mandeep Singh. S Aravind will share the new ball with Tymal Mills.
Predicted XI for the RCB :
1. Chris Gayle.
2. Virat Kohli (c).
3. Travis Head
4. Kedar Jadhav (Wicket Keeper).
5. Mandeep Singh.
6. Stuart Binny.
7. Pawan Negi.
8. Samuel Badree.
9. Yuzvendra Chahal.
10. S Arvind.
11. Tymal Mills.