RCB Vs RCB IPL - 2014

Before they took on each other at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore on May 13, 2014, both Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils had suffered a defeat each in their previous games. So one would have been interested to see how they would cope with their loss.

Team composition: Bangalore made as many as three changes to the team that lost the last game against the Rajasthan Royals. They brought back Sachin Rana and Muttiah Muralitharan, and gave Abu Nechim Ahmed his first game and benched Albie Morkel, Varun Aaron and Ashok Dinda. Delhi made one change to the team that lost the rain-affected game against Sunrisers Hyderabad by bringing back Murali Vijay instead of Laxmi Ratan Shukla.

Batting: The Daredevils won the toss and opted to put Royal Challengers to bat first. They reached a total of 186 for the loss of just 4 wickets, thanks to a brilliant 68 not out from just 29 balls from Yuvraj Singh, who continued from where he had left off against Royals in the previous game. Chris Gayle (22 from 23), Parthiv Patel (29 from 28) and AB de Villiers (33 from 17) made important contributions to the eventual total.

Chasing a big total, the Daredevils got pretty close thanks to JP Duminy, who scored 48 from 30 balls. Kedar Jadhav (37 from 20 balls), Kevin Pietersen (33 from 29 balls), and Mayank Agarwal (31 from 25) also performed well to ensure that the team stayed in the hunt.

Bowling: In the first innings, Mohammed Shami was the best bowler for DD, with 1 for 31 in 4 overs. Siddharth Kaul picked up 1 for 37 and Rahul Shukla went for 1 for 41 in his 4 overs. Imran Tahir was highly expensive (48 in 4 overs), and Duminy who opened the bowling conceded just 25 from his quota. In all, the lack of penetration and economy on the bowling front ensured that DD went on the back foot at the end of the game’s first half.

Muralitharan, who in his comeback match opened the bowling for RCB, was their finest performer, with 2 for 25 from 4 overs. Mitchell Starc kept him company with 2 for 26 and Yuvraj Singh was economical (none for 28 in 4 overs). Ahmed (1 for 40) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1 for 45) claimed wickets but were very expensive, which could have cost the team another win after what happened against the RR.

Where do the teams go from here?

The Royal Challengers Bangalore would be happy with its win in this game but it remains to be seen if this is the combination that they are looking for. The problem with a batting-heavy team is that once one of the main bowlers is unable to perform the others come under undue pressure and since the captain does not have sufficient alternatives there is very little that he can do in such circumstances. They may be seeing Yuvraj Singh as an all-rounder, following his purple patch in the last couple of games, but it may not be long before he loses form again. So, they need to be prepared for such a thing to happen in the midst of a game; one feels that an extra bowling option will help them achieve that state of readiness.

The Delhi Daredevils, on the other hand, seem to be like a ship without rudder right now. They have been changing their team composition in search of a continued stretch of good performance but it has proved futile so far. Perhaps they can consider dropping Quinton de Kock, Imran Tahir and Rahul Shukla and bringing back Jimmy Neesham, Wayne Parnell and Shahbaz Nadeem. This will bolster their weak bowling significantly and also take care of any batting worries later in the order.