IPL 2021: RCB look to bounce back against Delhi

Ayaz Memon/Mumbai
Filed on April 26, 2021
Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli (left) during the match against Chennai Super Kings. (BCCI)

RCB face Delhi Capitals in Ahmedabad on Tuesday

The weekend wasn’t gratifying for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. They were humbled by the Chennai Super Kings, their first defeat this season, which also saw them drop from the top spot to third position on the points table.

It wasn’t just losing two points that would have rankled Virat Kohli’s men, but the manner of the defeat. For a large part of the CSK innings, RCB had things under control. In the last few overs, particularly the final one, they went bust.

Ravindra Jadeja’s furious assault on Harshal Patel – till then the best death overs bowler in the tournament – yielded 37 runs, swelled CSK’s total to 191, which left RCB bewildered and demoralised, as their run chase showed.

In fact, there wasn’t any `chase’ to talk after Kohli’s early dismissal dealt a massive blow to RCB’s hopes. The Bangalore team were also compounded by the cheap dismissals of Glenn Maxwell and AB de Villiers, both these to the irrepressible Jadeja.

Inevitably, RCB went into terminal decline, losing by a whopping 69 runs.

This huge margin of defeat had its repercussions on the points table. While RCB also have eight points like CSK and Delhi Capitals, their net run rate took a battering after the whipping on Sunday.

On the face of it, the setback against the CSK can be seen as an aberration for RCB who have won the previous four matches handsomely. But there were some important lessons thrown up in the match.

It is clear that the RCB need at least two, if not three, from Devdutt Padikkal, Kohli, De Villiers and Maxwell to contribute substantially to reach or chase big scores.

Harshal has to recover his composure and confidence swiftly, else the `death overs’ bowling, excellent till the last match, could become a problem.

The Delhi Capitals snatched a cliffhanger against the Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday to move into second place. The match went into the Super Over amid high drama.

Hyderabad, not as strong on paper, put up a terrific fight, first to curb DC’s score within gettable limits, and then making a valiant bid for a win, masterminded by the classy Kane Williamson.

With Shikhar Dhawan not getting his customary high score, DC couldn’t get 170-175 which they were aiming for. Prithvi Shaw’s stroke-filled half century was a reminder of his talent, but not a guarantee to consistency.

Steve Smith got runs, but in labored fashion. Rishabh Pant played his part, but without being able to really cut loose.

The bigger worry for DC, however, is in the bowling. Mainstays Kagiso Rabada and Ravichandran Ashwin were disappointing against SRH in their inability to pick up wickets.

After the match Ashwin announced he would not be taking further part in the tournament to attend to Covid cases in his family. That is a difficult blow to absorb even if he wasn’t as successful as usual.

Overall, while DC won against SRH, the effort lacked conviction and character. Against RCB, this could be a serious handicap.

Tuesday's match

Delhi vs RCB

6pm UAE Time

Players To Watch Out For:

DC: Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Amit Mishra

RCB: Devdutt Padikkal, Mohammed Siraj, Glenn Maxwell

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