The finalists of the 2016 edition of the Indian Premier League were all set to lock horns for the second time this season as Royal Challengers Bangalore were hosting the defending champions, Sunrisers Hyderabad, at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
The Virat Kohli-led outfit were coming back from an embarrassing defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders, where they registered the lowest ever IPL score of 49 runs. The hosts were looking to turn things around and get back to winning ways in front of their home crowd against the mighty Hyderabad outfit.
The Bangalore-based franchise had a dismal start to the tournament, managing just two wins from their first seven matches.
Meanwhile, the defending champions also encountered a tough loss against the Rising Pune Supergiant in their last match, courtesy a masterclass from MS Dhoni.
The two teams would have been looking to work on their mistakes and get back to winning ways at the Chinnaswamy. However, relentless showers in the garden city forced the much-awaited clash to be washed off without a ball being bowled.
This result has all but brought down the curtains on Royal Challengers Bangalore’s tournament.
In the Indian Premier League, a team needs to accumulate around 16 points in 14 league matches in order to have a chance of qualification to the playoffs. The Royal Challengers Bangalore are placed sixth on the table with 5 points in eight league matches so far and would need a miracle to qualify for the playoffs.
The table is very tight at the moment with Mumbai Indians on top with 12 points in eight league matches. They are followed by the Knight Riders with 10 points in seven matches, while the defending champions are placed third with 9 points in eight matches.
The RCB unit, being one of the favourites to win the trophy, started the season on a poor note and were outclassed by the Orange Army in their opening match at Hyderabad. Following that, injuries, coupled with some disastrous performances, it has all been downhill for the Bangalore-based franchise.
However, fans of RCB can take some heart out of the fact that their side was in a similar situation in the last edition. They bounced back to winnings ways and a dream run in the latter half of the tournament resulted in them reaching the finals of the tournament.
They would require something similar this time around as the team needs to win at least five of their remaining six league matches in order to stand a chance to qualify for the playoffs.
The Bangalore outfit’s management has plenty of things to ponder on before their match against the Gujarat Lions on Thursday. One thing they will have to keep an eye on is the Net Run Rate (NRR). Their embarrassing batting display against the Knights has resulted in their NRR falling down to -1.210 and they would need to win their remaining matches with big margins to improve on that front.
To stand a chance of making it into the top four, they will have to bat big and score heavily in each of their encounters and bowl the opposition out as soon as possible, if they wish to boost their NRR.