It took a terrifyingly on-song Chennai Super Kings to halt the unstoppable Royal Challengers Bangalore, who took a 69-run beating in their face to record their first defeat in 2021. One-third of the tournament has concluded, and having escaped it nearly unbeaten gives RCB complete permission to push the “this year the cups is ours”/“Ee sala cup namde” narrative with full force.
What will alarm them for the moment is that their Net Run Rate boost has been wiped off by the crushing defeat handed to them by the Ravindra Jadeja-inspired yellow army. A Sunday that started with RCB placed at the top of the table with a +1.00 NRR, ended with them being third, NRR +0.09. And we now know, why Virat Kohli was breathing caution in his approach, stating that “momentum can go just as quickly.”
Against the Super Kings, it was one of those days when almost everything went awry for RCB. They were ruthless during their 10-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals, and pretty much ended up tasting their own medicine against CSK ever since Daniel Christian dropped a sitter when Jadeja was yet to get off the mark. As if that had set a domino fall, they lost control over everything, with a bamboozled Kohli witnessing his best death-bowler, the Purple Cap holder, one who had 3/14 from his three overs until the final over, leaking 37 runs in one, which included five sixes.
Jadeja had more business and more hunger to pummel the RCB. And so he undid the two main men – AB de Villiers and Glenn Maxwell – apart from showing no mercy towards Dan, who dropped him on duck, running him out with a trademarked Jadeja direct hit as they submitted themselves.
Despite all that going against them, that the Challengers bossed the Chennai leg of the tournament, winning three in three, while they ended Mumbai with a pleasing 1-1 win-loss result, cannot be denied. Moving to Ahmedabad might not scare them as much after the kind of results they generated in Chennai. Having led India to a 3-2 victory over England in the recent series, Kohli might have a strategic edge going towards a new challenge.
Their rivals on Tuesday, the Delhi Capitals, triumphed in Super Over against Sunrisers Hyderabad and sit right in the top territory with an identical 4-won-1-lost record in the points table. Capitals will have some adjustments to make themselves as they move to a new destination, but they will be glad to fly from Chennai with two wins in as many games.
Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw have got them some fluent starts, with the former holding the Orange Cap. Rishabh Pant has gelled well in the middle-order and with Steve Smith getting some fluency against SRH, the Capitals can breathe easy about their top-order. With the ball, Avesh Khan has continuously delivered the goods, while Amit Mishra and Axar Patel will be expecting Ahmedabad to have a good bundle of wickets for them in offer.
Patel had a breakthrough Test series against England (27 wickets at 10.59) at the venue, where he tumbled records and took one fifer after another, and will return with happy memories, therefore. Although, another member who enjoyed his outings alongside him back then, Ravichandran Ashwin, is no longer a part of the IPL, having exited due to family commitments amidst the Covid-19 crisis.
Pitch and conditions
The world’s largest stadium has as many as 11 surfaces laid. The India-England meetings generated mixed results with a couple of high-scoring thrillers and few moderate ones too. It remains to be seen which soil (red or black) is used to prepare the tracks. Either way, both spinners and pacers have got business, and pace variations, cutters, and slower ones will be for the pacers’ rescue should the wicket be tacky and slow.
Playing combinations for DC vs RCB
The Capitals dropped Lalit Yadav in the previous game, although Ashwin pulling out might get him back into the mix.
Predicted XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Steve Smith, Rishabh Pant (C & WK), Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Lalit Yadav/Lukman Meriwala, Kagiso Rabada, Avesh Khan
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa and pacer Kane Richardson have cited personal reasons to leave the tournament and fly back to Australia.
Predicted XI: Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (C), AB de Villiers (WK), Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Christian, Kyle Jamieson, Washington Sundar, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Siraj, Navdeep Saini
DC vs RCB Head to Head
Played – 25 | Delhi Capitals – 10 | Royal Challengers Bangalore – 14
DC vs RCB Broadcast Details
Match Timings – 7:30 PM IST
TV – Star Sports Network
Live Streaming – Disney+Hotstar
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