Vivo IPL 2017: Match 31: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Gujarat Lions
Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bangalore (Capacity: 40,000)
Thursday, 27th April 2017
Watching two teams at the bottom of the table struggle to make the playoffs is like watching two tailenders trying to bat out a session of test cricket. It’s as amusing as it is enthralling and watching two under-performing teams trying to win at all costs will prove to be thrilling.
RCB: N/R (SRH), L (KKR), W (GL)
GL: L (KXIP), W (KKR), L (RCB)
Bangalore find themselves in a similar situation as they were in last year. Except this year they need to win a straight 6 games to qualify for the play-offs. On paper, they look strong, but they look fragile on the field. Their batting attack comprises of Virat Kohli, Chris Gayle and AB de Villiers, 3 incredibly strong batsmen. However, they were bowled out for a record-low 49 in their previous game and none of their batsmen showed any intent. The Indian batting is not weak, with Kedar Jadhav, Mandeep Singh and Virat Kohli. However, the batting is shallow, with batsmen only till 5. Their bowling looks far more settled, with Badree, Chahal and Negi being effective on a slow and low Chinnaswamy pitch. Their pace bowling is relatively unsteady, with Aravind being expensive and Milne and Tymal Mills being inconsistent. The lower middle order consists of Binny at number 6, which is a liability as a batsman and a 6th bowling option. They need their top order to score more than 160 on the slow surface to come close to winning the game.
The Gujarat Lions look extremely poor in the bowling department. The batting order strong, but the composition is strange, with the inclusions of 3 extremely similar batsmen in the top 4 in McCullum, Finch and Dwayne Smith. Dinesh Karthik and Suresh Raina round out a strong top batting order. With Jadeja, Kishan and possibly Irfan Pathan, it’s a deep batting attack as well, but may not have the capability to excel in against quality spin bowling. The bowling is where the problems start. Jadeja is hardly the same bowler he was playing for the Superkings, Basil Thampi, Tejas Broka and Dhawal Kulkarni look extremely ineffective and inexperienced and poor Indian bowling performances have let them down. If Irfan Pathan makes his debut for the Lions, he balances the squad and adds experienced to the bowling. His pace would cause the ball to sit up and get top edges on the two-paced Chinnaswamy.
Pitch and Weather Report:
Thankfully, the teams can expect a better forecast, with little rain. Temperatures will be moderate, in the high twenties. The pitch is unusually slow and low, and spinners and medium pacers can expect assistance. Scores over 160 will be difficult to chase.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Virat Kohli (capt), 3 AB de Villiers, 4 Kedar Jadhav (wk), 5 Mandeep Singh, 6 Stuart Binny, 7 Pawan Negi, 8 Adam Milne, 9 Samuel Badree, 10 Sreenath Aravind, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
Gujarat Lions: 1 Brendon McCullum, 2 Dwayne Smith 3 Suresh Raina (capt), 4 Aaron Finch, 5 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Ishan Kishan, 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 Andrew Tye,10 Tejas Baroka 11 Dhawal Kulkarni
The Royal Challengers’ batting line-up is almost too good on paper to overlook, but it is their spin bowling that is expected to outfox Gujarat’s overseas batting. Gujarat will hope to turn their season around, but they’re expected to lose at the Chinnaswamy.
Vedant Jain is a contributor at CricMetric. For any queries or information, email firstname.lastname@example.org