Bengaluru: Royal Challengers Bangalore will be expecting more runs from its batters and discipline in death overs bowling when they take on the high-flying Lucknow Super Giants in the IPL here Monday.
RCB come into the match after a demoralising 81-run defeat against Kolkata Knight Riders and would be eager to return to winning ways at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
It’s early days in the tournament but RCB’s death bowling has been a major concern for the team.
RCB looked on course to register their second win of the season but the script went awry after the 12th over. They had the game in the palm of their hands, reducing the opposition to 89 for 5 before KKR went on to post 204/7.
Against Mumbai also they went for over 13 runs in the last five overs. Death overs specialist Harshal Patel and Mohammed Siraj, who had done well with the new ball, have struggled at the back end.
The absence of Wanindu Hasaranga, who is on national duty, and Josh Hazlewood, who is recovering from an Achilles heel injury, has only amplified RCB’s death bowling woes.
Both bowlers are expected to link up with team this week. But until then, South African medium pacer Wayne Parnell who has come in a replacement for Reece Topley can help with the ball at the back end of the innings.
RCB bat deep. Openers Virat Kohli and du Plessis did the job in the win against Mumbai but against KKR, the entire line up was done in by spin.
They would be wary against the Lucknow spinners, who come into the game on the back of their stellar display in the five-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad Friday.
Young leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi has continued to impress, taking six wickets, while veteran leggie Amit Mishra and Krunal Pandya have also played impactful roles.
In the pace department, England quick and the tournament joint leading wicket taker Mark Wood was down with flu and missed the previous game alongside medium pacer Avesh Khan, who injured himself. It is to be seen if the two are available against RCB.
Lucknow, who have won two and lost one game, would hope their batters are more consistent. While Kyle Mayers has been outstanding, skipper KL Rahul and all-rounder Marcus Stoinis’ form is a concern.
Lucknow Super Giants: KL Rahul (c and wk), Kyle Mayers, Deepak Hooda, Krunal Pandya, Amit Mishra, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Naveen ul Haq, Ayush Badoni, Avesh Khan, Karan Sharma, Yudhvir Charak, Yash Thakur, Romario Shepherd, Mark Wood, Swapnil Singh, Manan Vohra, Daniel Sams, Prerak Mankad, Krishnappa Gowtham, Jaydev Unadkat, Marcus Stoinis, Ravi Bishnoi, Mayank Yadav.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Faf du Plessis (c), Virat Kohli, Mohammad Siraj, Harshal Patel, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Shahbaz Ahmed, Anuj Rawat, Akash Deep, Mahipal Lomror, Finn Allen, Suyash Prabhudesai, Karn Sharma, Siddarth Kaul, David Willey, Wayne Parnell, Himanshu Sharma, Manoj Bhandage, Rajan Kumar, Avinash Singh, Sonu Yadav, Michael Bracewell.
Match starts at 7:30 PM IST.