Bengaluru: The Royal Challengers Bangalore have finally turned things around this season and how. The Bangalore team whose only aim now is to book a playoff berth, head into their final home match on Wednesday as heavy favourites against Kings XI Punjab, who are out of contention for the playoffs.
Led by the flamboyant Virat Kohli, the Challengers have at last found their winning combination and have roared back into the competition on the back of two massive victories. With the tournament reaching the business end and six out of eight teams still eligible for a playoff berth things have started heating up.
With all the number crunching and net run-rates doing the rounds, the Challengers will hope to notch up two wins from the final two league matches.
The memories of the last victory at home where records fell like nine-pins, will still be fresh in the minds of a rejuvenated RCB team. Moreover, a nine-wicket victory over a well-settled Kolkata Knight Riders in their own back yard on Monday night would boost the morale of the outfit.
The Challengers who have always boasted off a strong batting line-up now have become a bowlers’ nightmare. Skipper Kohli, who has been at his best from the start of the competition, has formed a deadly partnership along with the dashing AB de Villiers. The deadly duo’s last onslaught off 229 off 96 at the Chinnaswamy stadium will still be haunting the bowlers.
Much to the disappointment of the Punjab team, Kohli who sustained a split webbing during the match against KKR, has been declared fit. Moreover, with Chris Gayle finally coming to the party the home team will look for another massive onslaught, which will be a treat for the fans.
RCB’s bowling unit, their main concern this season has finally seen some light. With fast bowler Chris Jordan living up to expectations with a career-best of 4-11 in the previous home match, the Challengers look sharp in attack. Along with all-rounder Shane Watson and Yuzvendra Chahal the home team appear well balanced.
Punjab on the other hand, will look to spoil RCB’s party after their playoff hopes were dashed after their loss to Hyderabad.
Moreover, with all-rounder Glen Maxwell heading home due to injury, the Murali Vijay led side face a massive task ahead if they are to stop the home team at the Chinnaswamy stadium, considered a batting paradise. If the rains don’t play spoilsport, the Garden City is all set to witness a shower of sixes....