Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Daredevils keen to fire again

This season, things could have been better for Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils. Though the RCB has played one more game, the teams have just two wins to show ahead of their battle at the Ferozeshah Kotla on Tuesday.

RCB, parading one of the strongest batting line-ups in the Indian Premier League, is yet to play to its potential.

It started with an impressive win over Kochi Tuskers Kerala, lost three matches on the trot, managed a point from the rain-forced washout against Rajasthan Royals before riding on Chris Gayle's century to get past Kolkata Knight Riders.

Likewise, Daredevils, too, won its last outing after losing thrice in the previous four games.

Going by the league-performances in the last three seasons, a team needs a minimum of seven victories from 14 matches to be in contention for a place in the semifinals.

Last year, RCB and Daredevils tied at 14 points but the Bangalore team, based on superior net run-rate, was placed fourth, one above Delhi, after four teams finished with seven wins each.

If the past is any pointer to the future, at present, both the teams can afford to drop only a couple of games but win more.

RCB's quality comes from the presence of skipper Daniel Vettori, Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers — all ex-Daredevils — apart from Delhi-based Virat Kohli and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan. They are all capable of turning the match on their own.

With Gayle marking his arrival with a bang, the RCB assumes the look of a team difficult to deal with. In fact, after Tuesday's match, RCB will be keen to make a statement through three successive home games — against Pune, Punjab and Kochi — and improve its prospects of making the semifinals.

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