IPL 2023: Crunch match for struggling Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore

Leg-spinner Himanshu Sharma could play a big role for RCB


Leslie Wilson Jr

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Royal Challengers Bangalore squad during a practice session. — RCB Twitter
Royal Challengers Bangalore squad during a practice session. — RCB Twitter

Published: Fri 14 Apr 2023, 11:31 PM

Last updated: Fri 14 Apr 2023, 11:38 PM

Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals, two struggling teams in the IPL, meet in a decisive match that could have major implications for their progress in the tournament.

RCB, who got its campaign off to a rousing start with a thumping eight-wicket victory over five-time champion Mumbai Indians, lost its subsequent matches to Kolkata Knight Riders and Lucknow Super Giants.

In contrast, Delhi has been unable to make an impression right from their 50-run defeat to Lucknow in their opening match. David Warner’s squad also caved in against reigning champions Gujarat Titans (by 6 wickets), current league leaders Rajasthan Royals (by 57 runs), and Mumbai (by 6 wickets).

Here are five key points to this crunch match.

Rediscover home advantage

RCB appears to be at its best on home turf where it slayed mighty Mumbai by eight wickets in a match where its superstar opening combination of Virat Kohli (82 not out) and Faf du Plessis (73) guided them home.

Delhi can take heart from the fact that Royal Challengers did not look as imposing when it was comprehensively beaten by 81 runs at Eden Gardens, Kolkata Knight Riders' home ground.

It returned to Bangalore for the third match and while Kohli and du Plessis were once again in rousing form, it could not defend what looked like a good total of 212 against Lucknow.

More runs needed

Despite suffering three defeats Delhi put up a good fightback against a strong side like Mumbai before luck deserted it and it lost in a last-ball thriller.

While acknowledging that the youngsters need time ‘to blossom,’ Delhi Capitals Director of Cricket, Sourav Ganguly felt that it was time to do some soul-searching to discover what has gone wrong thus far.

While praising Axar Patel, the former Indian captain stressed that the team needs to bat better and put more runs on the board.

Advice to youngsters

Ganguly has also backed his team which is full of youngsters and said that they need time to blossom.

“It can only be up from here and hopefully, the young boys will turn up on the high-scoring wicket in Bengaluru. You have to find a way to make a comeback. It’s about going back to your rooms, looking at the mirror, and asking yourself how can I change,” he told DC TV.

Overall dominance

Bangalore will doubtless be buoyed by its overall dominance over Delhi, having beaten it on 16 occasions in 27 matches.

Virat Kohli has been a key factor in RCB’s superiority, scoring 949 runs overall including 164 in three innings this season.

However, even though Glen Maxwell is shoring up the middle-order well as he showed with a knock of 59 in their last-ball loss to Lucknow, Bangalore needs to raise its game and get back to its best form.

A toss to win

The batting strip at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium is widely regarded as a belter of a track which means that the team batting first could seize the upper hand by putting up a high score and then turning the pressure on with some disciplined bowling.

Due to the small boundaries, it has been a high-scoring ground but leg-spinners in particular do well which is why Himanshu Sharma can play a big role for RCB.


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