The Royal Challengers Bangalore have had a decent start to their IPL 2017 campaign. After losing the first match of the season against defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad, they bounced back in style to defeat the Delhi Daredevils in a nail-biting finish.
It was Kedar Jadhav's magnificent knock of 69 in balls which helped RCB reach a decent total of 157 in their 20 overs after a poor start. In reply, the Delhi batsmen performed poorly as the RCB bowling attack kept taking wickets at regular intervals. Rishabh Pant played exceptional innings and scored a quickfire half-century and almost took his side over the line but was unable to do so as he was dismissed in the very last over.
Their next match will be against the Kings XI Punjab at the Holkar stadium in Indore. Let’s take a look at their predicted XI:
Shane Watson began the innings really well last time around and was looking extremely dangerous too. After hitting three fours in the first couple of overs, he slowed things down after Gayle’s dismissal. Unfortunately, he could not convert his good start into a big score as he was stumped out to a Shahbaz Nadeem delivery. With the absence of Virat Kohli and AB De Villiers, Watson will continue to captain the side and look to score big in the next match.
Chris Gayle – The universal boss as he is known played a decent knock in the first match against the Sunrisers but was extremely poor in the previous match in Bangalore as he managed to score only 6 in 8 deliveries. There is a lot expected of him whenever he comes out to bat and the 37-year-old Jamaican would be looking to get back into form ahead of the match against Punjab and give RCB the much-needed start at the beginning of the innings.
Mandeep Singh started off extremely well in both the matches and looked extremely comfortable with the bat as he was striking the ball really well. However, he could not convert his starts into big scores in both games. With ABD most likely to sit out of the next match as well, Mandeep will look to carry the burden on his shoulder once again.
Kedar Jadhav has undoubtedly been RCB’s standout batsman after the first two matches. He threatened to take the game away from SRH in the first match but was cut short by a brilliant piece of fielding by Ben Cutting. However, he proved his worth in the match against Delhi with a match-winning knock of 69.
Vishnu Vinod showed a glimpse of what to expect from him after smashing a huge six off Carlos Brathwaite’s bowling but was unfortunately run out in the very next delivery. He was asked to keep wickets as well and did a tidy job behind the stumps. We could expect to see him keep his place in the team until Kohli’s return and we could also expect to see him come in at no. 5 in the next match.
Stuart Binny played second fiddle to Kedar Jadhav and played an extremely useful knock of 14 as he put on a vital partnership of 66 runs with Jadhav for the 4th wicket and helped RCB reach 157. He always raises plenty of eyebrows but to be fair he has never been given a good opportunity to settle down and play an innings of substance.
Pawan Negi bowled only one over in the previous match against the Daredevils but that proved to be the most important over of the match as he managed to defend 19 in the final over and took the all important wicket of Pant. He will hope to play a bigger role in the playing XI against KXIP.
Iqbal Abdullah conceded 36 runs in three overs in his first match of the season but managed to pick up the vital wickets of Sam Billings and the dangerous Chris Morris. He has proved to be useful to RCB in previous seasons and will look to continue picking up important wickets in the next match as well and hopefully concede lesser runs.
Tymal Mills was the most expensive buy for RCB this season and had a lot of pressure on his shoulders to perform in the first two matches of the season. He proved his worth with the ball as he did not concede too many runs and picked up wickets at regular intervals as well. He will look to carry RCB’s bowling line-up on his shoulders for the entire season.
Yuzvendra Chahal has been the best bowler for RCB since the beginning of last season. He missed out on the purple cap last year and fortunately continued his good run of form into this year’s IPL as well. He has a solid temperament and this holds him good stead and his record at the M Chinnaswamy is brilliant.
Billy Stanlake was the surprise inclusion in RCB’s line-up for the match against the Daredevils but proved his worth as he picked up two important wickets and conceded only 29 runs in his four overs. The 22-year-old tall Australian has the ability to generate a lot of pace and bounce and that would come in handy for the RCB against the dangerous KXIP batting line-up.