IPL 9: Virat Kohli's RCB and MS Dhoni's RPS are in it to win it today

Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rising Pune Supergiants will be desperate for a win in the Garden city today to keep playoff hopes alive

Banglore: At exactly 3.47 pm last evening, the chances of Royal Challengers Bangalore avoiding yet another loss became brighter, as the dark skies gave way to a massive downpour that sent the players scurrying off the field barely 30-40 minutes into their net session.

Royal Challengers Bangalore players celebrate the fall of a KKR wicket in Bangalore on Monday. PIC/PTI
Royal Challengers Bangalore players celebrate the fall of a KKR wicket in Bangalore on Monday. Pic/PTI

The same can be said about their opponents today afternoon, the Rising Pune Supergiants, who with a mere six points from nine games are not much better off to RCB’s dismal four from seven. The Bangalore weather though is very much unpredictable — in stark contrast to the side’s consistently poor bowling — so there’s no saying what will happen today.

The bigger issue
The bigger issue is that both sides are very close to getting knocked out of the tournament. On paper, both teams boast some really big names giving them the look of favorites but cricket is never played on paper, albeit RCB’s hand-written playing list before each match, the one marking the frequent changing and chopping, has certainly contributed to their showing.

RPS, on the other hand, have undoubtedly been plain unlucky in that one by one their favoured overseas players have been adding themselves to the tournament’s injury list. But then good teams make their own luck and left with no choice but to win, RPS will dearly want to play on this batting friendly Chinnaswamy Stadium pitch and make best use of the flailing confidence of the RCB bowlers, who firstly don’t seem to know whom among them will play on any given day and then whoever plays doesn’t seem to know where to bowl once the opposing batsmen get after them.

Jordan likely to play
Chris Jordan, one of the very few English recruits in the IPL, and with a bright chance of making the final XI today, was naturally defensive of his new colleagues. “The guys are working really hard at training and obviously have great skill levels. We just need to keep looking forward,” he said.

For RPS on the other hand, the problem is more with how and how much their skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni uses his top bowler Ravichandran Ashwin, who has a grand three wickets from nine games. By far the leading bowler in the side, he hasn’t used optimally by Dhoni in all games and when used hasn’t exactly delivered. Dhoni apparently sets very high standards for Ashwin and so becomes ‘Captain Hot’ when he struggles.

Virat Kohli though would to love to trade any of his bowlers for Ashwin for there are only so many batsmen he can field in
a game.

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