The two bottom-placed teams in the IPL Gujarat Lions and Royal Challengers Bangalore lock horns at Rajkot today with both teams needing a win to keep their play-off hopes alive. Both teams will be coming off a defeat in their previous game with Gujarat Lions losing to Mumbai Indians at Mumbai while RCB lost to Rising Pune Supergiants at Bangalore.
This will be the third encounter between both teams who have beaten each other once. Even though their performances have been pretty lackluster this season, both Gujarat Lions and Royal Challengers Bangalore have some quality players in their squads and their match could be a cracking one.
With hours to go, let’s take a look at five winning factors for the GL-RCB encounter.
#1. With the bat
Both RCB and Gujarat Lions will be relying on their batsmen to deliver as both teams contain some world-class batsmen in their setup. For RCB, Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle will be the ones they will have to rely on to give them a steady start.
After them, Kedar Jadhav will have to shoulder the responsibilities of getting runs during the latter half of the innings as AB de Villiers has been ruled out of the game due to an injury. The likes of Stuart Binny and Pawan Negi also have the ability to score a few quick runs in the slog overs
Gujarat Lions’ biggest strength is their top order which comprises of the dangerous Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith. Hence, they will have to take them off to a good start, following which Suresh Raina, Aaron Finch, and Dinesh Karthik can be trusted to score heavily in the middle order.
Then, Ravindra Jadeja will be expected to provide a good finishing touch.
#2. With the ball
RCB will be hoping that Tymal Mills is back in full fitness, although they still have Adam Milne who bowled well in their previous match against Rising Pune Supergiant. In Samuel Badree, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Pawan Negi, RCB have three spinners who are capable of containing runs, as well as taking wickets.
For Gujarat Lions, most of the wicket-taking responsibilities will fall on the shoulders of Andrew Tye and Ravindra Jadeja. Seasoned campaigners like Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel and youngster Basil Thampi will have to work on their line and length as they were pretty expensive against the Mumbai Indians.
Both teams’ biggest strength is their batting and with the Rajkot pitch being a good batting turf, the match is expected to be a batting treat. Both teams will expect their batsmen to fire on all cylinders and take them to a strong total.
Provided Tymal Mills returns to the squad, RCB will have to remove one overseas player and the best option would be Shane Watson, who has been disappointing in the tournament. RCB will expect Tymal Mills and Samuel Badree to strike early during the powerplay overs to dismiss the Gujarat Lions top order.
With AB De Villiers out due to an injury, RCB can take Chris Gayle into the playing XI who, if gets going, can be any bowler’s nightmare
For Gujarat Lions, Aaron Finch will be expected to return to the team after he missed the previous game. Hence, Jason Roy might have to sit out the match as the likes of Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith have been good with the bat so far.
In their bowling department, they will be counting on Andrew Tye and Ravindra Jadeja.
#4. Gujarat Lions’ T factor
Andrew Tye produced a sensational performance on his IPL debut, picking up a five-wicket haul that included a hat-trick against the Rising Pune Supergiants. He bowled decently against the Mumbai Indians as well, picking up two wickets for 34 runs in his four overs.
In Tye, the Gujarat Lions have somebody who is capable of taking early wickets and can bowl well in the death overs as well. Even though they have the experience of Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel, Tye will be the one Gujarat Lions will be banking on to make things difficult for the likes of Kohli and Gayle.
Provided Tye fires today, Gujarat Lions can well register their second victory of the tournament.
#5. The Virat Kohli show for RCB
RCB skipper Virat Kohli missed the first three matches due to a shoulder injury he sustained during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. However, he made his presence felt in his first match of the tournament as he scored a brilliant 47-ball 62 against Mumbai Indians.
He was off to a good start in his next game against the Rising Pune Supergiant as well but got out early, after scoring 28 off 19 deliveries.
Kohli is capable of giving any bowler nightmares and has done so on numerous occasions. Moreover, his performance in the last two matches gave the hint that the shoulder injury has gone completely. With De Villiers out, a lot of the batting responsibilities will be shouldered by Kohli and if he gets going, then he can single-handedly power RCB to a win.