RCB to rotate players in IPL league ties

Bangalore, April 8 (IANS) Hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will rotate a number of its players in the remaining 14 league matches of the Pepsi IPL T-20 tournament it will play on the home turf and away over the next month.

"We have lot of options. Probably, you can see more players being rotated for getting as much experience as possible. We won't experiment here but we would like to rotate the players. You will see lot of players getting chance to play in all the league matches," RCB assistant coach and former Indian speedster Venkatesh Prasad told reporters here Monday at a pre-match press conference here.

The home team will take on Sunrisers Hyderabad Tuesday evening in a back-to-back league tie after losing to it in a super over late Sunday in Hyderabad after both the teams were tied at 130 runs in a thriller.

Having won the first game here against Mumbai Indians April 4 on the last ball of the innings by two runs and lost the second tie to Hyderabad, the hosts are bracing up to settle score with the latter, taking advantage of the home turf and its frenzied fans.

RCB has 32 players, including 11 from overseas to choose the team for every match, including 11 batters, 14 bowlers and seven all-rounders.

As per the IPL rules, every team can field four foreign players in the final 11 for every match, with the remaining seven from among the Indian players.

With South African wicket-keeper-cum-batsman A.B. de Villiers joining the team early Tuesday, the management will assess his fitness to include in the final 11 against Sunrisers in a crucial game.

"AB will be available to play Tuesday. Though all the boys are fit to play and we have plenty of options, the composition of the team will be decided a couple of hours before the match (at 4 p.m.) after studying the pitch and playing conditions," Prasad said before the team members entered the Chinnaswmy stadium for a grueling three-hour practice at the nets under floodlights.

Noting that it was still early days in the tournament to shape up to the qualifiers, he said positives from the first two games were the spirit with which the team had played and the standard of fielding, which even rival teams had appreciated.

Admitting that both the opening ties - one at home and another away (in Hyderabad) were very close matches in line with the shorter format of the game (T20), Prasad said RCB was probably 20 runs short of a defendable score in the first game and 130 in the second game was pretty difficult to defend.

"Our bowlers really stood for the batsmen in both the games as they had to defend low scores. The fielding was outstanding as couple of players from the opposition team had really appreciated in both the matches," he said.

Asked if RCB was heavily dependent on its explosive opener Chris Gayle to score most runs and win games, Prasad said to a certain extent it was true that the team bets on the West Indian southpaw but had enough fire power to strike though it could not be carried on both the games.

"It's early days in the tournament and am sure all the three departments - batting, bowling and fielding will come good as we play more matches in the coming weeks," Prasad observed.

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