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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Will Royal Challengers Bangalore keep their winning momentum?

Will Royal Challengers Bangalore keep their winning momentum?

Last updated on: May 10, 2016 16:21 IST

Sixth in the points' table, Virat Kohli's side needs to beat Mumbai Indians on Wednesday to keep their hopes of making the IPL play-offs alive.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore bowlers will have to put up a much better performance to support the team's batting.

Royal Challengers Bangalore

IMAGE: Royal Challengers Bangalore's Shane Watson and team-mates celebrate. Photograph: PTI.

Royal Challengers Bangalore will be looking to take the confidence from Monday night's nerve-wracking one-run victory over Kings XI Punjab when they clash with Mumbai Indians, who suffered a humiliating defeat in their previous game, in Wednesday's Indian Premier League match in Bengaluru.

Currently placed at a lowly sixth in the points' table, a victory will be crucial for the Royal Challengers to keep their hopes of making the IPL play-offs alive.

Snapping the three-match losing streak with back-to-back victories over Rising Pune Supergiants and Kings XI Punjab is expected to hold them in good stead when they play in their own backyard at the Chinnaswamy stadium.

Their nail-biting victory over Kings XI Punjab in Mohali should give the Bangalore outfit a lot of confidence.

A defeat on Wednesday, however, will land them in big trouble and make it tougher to enter the play-offs.

All eyes once again will be on skipper Virat Kohli, whose performance in the ongoing IPL has left opposing teams dumbstruck.

He leads the batting chart with 561 runs so far, which includes two centuries and four half-tons.

Besides the captain, Royal Challengers Bangalore have also relied heavily on their star batsman A B de Villiers. The South African proved his prowess yet again on Monday night, hitting a 35-ball 64 to guide the team to a competitive 175.

Opener KL Rahul (42) also chipped in with an important contribution.

Rahul and all-rounder Shane Watson have proved to be important cogs in Bangalore's wheels with some crucial knocks.

With the likes of Chris Gayle warming the bench, the Royal Challengers perhaps have the most intimidating batting line-up, but their pedestrian bowling attack has failed to defend 180-plus scores in most of the matches.

Their two best performers with the ball are Watson and Yuzvendra Chahal, but the likes of Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron and Chris Jordan have all leaked runs.

The Royal Challengers Bangalore bowlers will have to put up a much better performance to support the team's batting.

Mumbai Indians

IMAGE: Mumbai Indians players celebrate. Photograph: BCCI.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians will be keen to make quick amends after their humiliating 85-run defeat at the hands of Sunrisers Hyderabad in their previous match.

Placed fifth in the table with 10 points, they Indians have a good chance of displacing Delhi Daredevils from the number four slot in the table and entering the top-four bracket with a victory over the home team.

Defeat will put Mumbai Indians under tremendous pressure as they would need to win their remaining three games after Wednesday's match, which would be very tough given that they will have to get acclimatised to their new home venue, Visakhapatnam.

The last time the two teams met, Mumbai Indians defeated the Royal Challengers, and the Rohit Sharma-led side will be hoping to repeat the feat.

Rohit is leading the team from the front with 388 runs so far, hammering five half-centuries.

Ambati Rayudu and Parthiv Patel have also stepped up whenever their captain has failed to do the job.

Mumbai have big-match player Kieron Pollard in their ranks to guide the team to a domineering position with his lusty blows.

As far as bowling is concerned, they depend on their pace attack when it comes to restricting rival teams.

New Zealand's Mitchell McClenaghan, who leads the attack, has claimed 14 wickets so far and is placed third in the top-wicket takers' list.

Jasprit Bumrah and Tim Southee are Mumbai's next best bowlers, have taken 11 and seven wickets respectively.

In the spin department, old warhorse Harbhajan Singh (7 wickets) and the Pandya brothers -- Hardik and Krunal (3 wickets each) -- have also contributed to the team's success.

Teams (from):

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (captain, Varun Aaron, Abu Nechim, S Arvind, Samuel Badree, Stuart Binny, Yuzuvendra Chahal, AB De Villiers, Praveen Dubey, Chris Gayle, Travis head, Iqbal Abdulla, Kedar Jadhav, Akshay Karnewar, Sarfraz Khan, Vikramjeet Malik, Mandeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Lokesh Rahul, Parveez Rasool, Kane Richardson, Sachin Baby, Vikas Tokas, Shane Watson, David Wiese, Chris Jordan, Tabraiz Shamsi.

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Parthiv Patel, Hardik Pandya, Jos Buttler, Mitchell McClenaghan, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Harbhajan Singh, Jagadeesha Suchith, Tim Southee, Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Gopal, R Vinay Kumar, Corey Anderson, Unmukht Chand, Marchant de Lange, Siddhesh Lad, Kishore Kamath, Krunal Pandya, Deepak Punia, Nitish Rana, Jitesh Sharma, Nathu Singh, Akshay Wakhare, Martin Guptill.

Match starts: 8:00 pm IST

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