IPL 2016: Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Gujarat Lions in crunch game

first_imgRoyal Challengers Bangalore, who need to win their remaining four matches to possibly make the play-offs, take on Gujarat Lions in a must-win Indian Premier League clash at the M Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru today. (Full IPL Coverage)Virat Kohli-led RCB will look to stop the roaring Lions who are on the verge of making the play-offs.The Royal Challengers will like to forget their last game against defending champions Mumbai Indians, who thumped them in their own backyard.A loss, however, will shatter their dreams to make into the play-offs and as usual the onus will be on skipper Kohli, who has come out all guns blazing so far, putting the rivals on the mat.Batting heavyHe is donning the orange cap for having scored 568 runs, which includes two tons and four half centuries. Besides the captain, RCB have also been relying heavily on their star batsman AB de Villiers, who has amassed 409 runs in 10 matches so far in the tournament.KL Rahul also has stepped up and chipped in with four fifties. Australia’s Shane Watson has also proved to be an important cog in Bangalore’s wheels with some crucial contributions.Royal Challengers will be hoping Chris Gayle to fire all cylinders which could be the best answer to neutralise their pedestrian bowling attack, which has failed to even defend 180-plus scores in some of the matches.Poor bowling attackTheir two best performers with the ball have been Watson and Yuzvendra Chahal but the likes of Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron and Chris Jordan have all leaked runs.advertisementRCB bowlers would have to put up a much better performance to support the team’s batting department.Meanwhile, IPL debutants Gujarat will be coming into the match after defeating the consistent Kolkata Knight Riders with an eye to jump to number one position in the points-table, where Sunrisers Hyderabad are perched for now.However, they will also be wary about their signs of wilting at the business end of the tournament, and will like to come out of it.Raina to miss his first IPL gameGujarat skipper Suresh Raina will miss his first match in the tournament history to be with his pregnant wife.If their top heavy batting comprising the terrific trio of Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Dwayne Smith is a boon, it’s also turning out to be their bane.The trio’s failure has translated into the team’s losses as their Indian combination of Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Dinesh Karthik, whose match-winning 51 being the exception against KKR, is hardly making any impact.Finch, who has four half-centuries, has been their best batter this season and dropping him down the order has not helped their cause.In the bowling department, pacers Dwayne Bravo and Dhawal Kulkarni have been their best bowlers, having taken 12 and 10 wickets respectively so far and the team will rely on them.Chinaman bowler Shivil Kaushik, who has generated much curiosity with his Paul Adams-like action, and veteran leg-spinner Pravin Tambe will also look to bring out their best.(With PTI inputs)last_img read more