Bangalore: Back in their comfort zone of M Chinnaswamy Stadium here, the Royal Challengers Bangalore would be looking to get their IPL-7 campaign back on track when they face an also-struggling Sunrisers Hyderabad for the first time this season here today.
RCB's Yuvraj Singh trains with teammates during a practice session in Bangalore on Saturday. Pic/PTI
A home game at the start of the second leg of the IPL-7 after losing three of the five matches in the UAE last month, provides the Virat Kohli-led RCB, runners-up in 2009, just the sort of platform to inject some momentum in their campaign.
They started off well with two back-to-back wins before falling off with three consecutive defeats. Likewise, the SRH managed to win only two of the five games in the UAE and have failed to make much of an impact despite boasting an array of power-hitters in their ranks.
SRH possess the strongest bowling attacks in the IPL with Dale Steyn and Bhuvneshwar Kumar being outstanding with their pace and movement, backed by the crafty leg-spinner Amit Mishra besides West Indian seamer Darren Sammy.
In both the matches that they won in the UAE, it was the Sunrisers batsmen, led by Aussies David Warner and Aaron Finch who have been in the forefront.
As for the high-profile RCB, the UAE sojourn has been a humbling experience and their famed batting line-up even caved in spectacularly to 70 all out. It was something that obviously caused acute embarrassment to a team.
The absence of opener Chris Gayle in the opening four games did hurt RCB. The form of Yuvraj, despite a couple of solid knocks, is still iffy while Kohli himself has not been consistent enough and the RCB have looked to AB de Villiers to deliver the goods.
> Sunrisers scored at barely a run-a-ball in the first half of their innings, but Cameron White and Thisara Perera put on 80 together, scoring at a strike-rate of more than 150, taking their side to a respectable 161
> Virat Kohli was in sublime touch from the start and began his rampage in earnest when AB de Villiers joined him after Chris Gayle’s dismissal.
> With 45 needed off the last five overs, Sunrisers may have felt they still had a chance in the match, but Kohli (47-ball 93) launched Amit Mishra for consecutive straight sixes early in the 16th over, in which he eventually plundered 21. He hit five more fours in the next two overs to close the match. RCB won by seven wickets with 14 balls to spare