RCB v Rising Pune Supergiant Match preview

April 16, 2017

Royal Challengers Bangalore are a much fancied team with three of the biggest names in cricket – Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Chris Gayla, but they have had a very poor start to their IPL, having lost three of their last four matches.

RCB have lost to Mumbai Indians by four wickets and to Kings XI Punjab by eight wickets. They barely managed to beat Delhi Daredevils by 15 runs.

They are fully matched in the race to the bottom by Rising Pune Supergiant, who are last in the points table, having lost to Gujarat Lions by seven wickets, to Delhi Daredevils by 97 runs and to Kings XI by six wickets.  Pune too have some of the biggest names in cricket – MS Dhoni, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes and Ajinkya Rahane.

So things haven’t gone well for the two fancied teams. They look out of sorts because some of their stars are not in form and the backup is just not good enough.

Apart from AB de Villiers and to an extent Kedar Jadhav, none of the other RCB players have performed. They have some very mediocre players in their ranks such as Stuart Binny and Pawan Negi, who seem to get games regularly without contributing anything at all to the side.

It’s the same with Pune. MS Dhoni has looked a shadow of his former self and even the owner of the Rising Pune Supergiant team, Harsh Goenka, has come out in public, criticizing the legendary Indian player. It does look like Dhoni’s days as a top class cricketer are almost over and it is unlikely that he will ever be the same again. That’s a pity.

Another great that looks beyond his prime is Chris Gayle. Captain Kohli said that Gayle was “a top contender to start in every game” but considering the West Indian’s poor form, it looks unlikely that he will feature for too long in this tournament. Gayle could only make 22 off 27 balls in the last match.

He could be replaced by Shane Watson, who captained the side in the first three matches.

For Pune, Steven Smith and Ben Stokes have been holding the batting together. But that hasn’t been enough. Stokes’ bowling has left a lot to be desired and the rest of the Pune bowling attack has been poor as well, with the exception of Imran Tahir, the leg spinner.

Anyone can win this game between these two underperformers.

The Teams

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Virat Kohli (capt), 3 AB de Villiers, 4 Kedar Jadhav (wk), 5 Pawan Negi, 6 Mandeep Singh, 7 Stuart Binny, 8 Tymal Mills, 9 S Aravind, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Samuel Badree

Rising Pune Supergiant: 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Rahul Tripathi, 3 Steven Smith (capt) 4 Manoj Tiwary, 5 Ben Stokes, 6 MS Dhoni (wk), 7 Ankit Sharma, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Lockie Ferguson/Adam Zampa, 10 Rahul Chahar, 11 Imran Tahir

Watch Royal Challengers Bangalore play Rising Pune Supergiant tonight at 8 PM live on Sony Six!


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