Bangalore: Royal Challengers Bangalore, playing their penultimate home game, would be hoping the rain stays away today when they take on cellar-dwellers Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League (IPL) tie here.
Kings XI Punjab players celebrate a Mumbai Indians wicket at Wankhede last month. Pic/Suresh KK
With nine points from as many games, RCB dropped to fifth spot after yesterday’s game between Mumbai Indians and Delhi Daredevils, while Kings XI have just four from nine matches with two wins and seven defeats.
Last year’s runners-up Kings XI Punjab are in the midst of a tailspin following five consecutive losses. The Mohali outfit’s fall has been quite dramatic and as spectacular as Glenn Maxwell’s batting was last season when the Aussie smashed 528 runs at a strike rate of 187.75, as compared to just 74 (SR 134.54) in six games this year and barely able to hold his position in the playing eleven.
In fact, Kings XI’s tepid performance this season is about the failure of not just Maxwell, but also of their other key batsmen like opener Virender Sehwag, who last year was among the top run-getters with a tally of 455, including a knock of 122.
Kings XI Punjab captain Bailey remained optimistic about the team’s chances of making it to the play-offs despite seven losses, as there are still few matches to play catch up with other sides. “There is still plenty to play for and we hope to still make it,” he said.
Bailey said Maxwell has disappointed himself in the IPL, “He (Maxwell) absolutely has disappointed himself. The other thing about Maxi is that he plays a unique brand of cricket and sometimes it does not come off as we would like,” he said.
Bailey said Maxwell took a while to adapt to the different playing conditions in India, which are very different from Australia. “He’s come from the World Cup and it took a while for him to adapt. Conditions are different in India and Australia,” he said.
Bailey also opined that external pressure gets the better of Maxwell at times. “He has played enough cricket here and, I think it is the outside world that puts more pressure on him.”