Local favourites Royal Challengers Bangalore and New Zealand's Otago Volts, smarting from their defeats at the hands of Cape Cobras in their tournament openers, would be desperate to put their campaigns back on track when they face-off in the Group C match of the Champions League Twenty20 in Bangalore, on Monday.
It is a virtual knockout match for both Anil Kumble-led Royal Challengers and Craig Cumming's Otago Volts as the winners will progress to the League Stage of the tournament as the second team from Group C.
The Royal Challengers lost to Cobras despite a good batting performance and it was a mixture of poor bowling and Jean Paul Duminy's batting pyrotechnics that did them in.
Robin Uthappa and Ross Taylor have shown that they are in good nick and any batting order that includes the likes of Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher is bound to keep their opponents sleepless nights.
But for the Bangalore side, bowling remains their biggest chink in the armoury and their inability to defend a 180-run target against the Cobras expose the frailties of their leather-flingers.
Praveen Kumar has been among the wickets but could not stem the run flow while Vinay Kumar, Roelofvan der Merwe and even Kumble looked clueless against Duminy.
The IPL runners-upwould start as favourites against their Kiwi opponents who were thrashed by the Cobras. Craig Cumming allowed the Cobras to post 193 and chasing the target, folded for 139 in 17-odd overs.
Their bowling looked pretty ordinary and Cumming was clueless when Andrew Puttick went after the bowlers during his unbeaten 62-ball hurricane knock of 104.
Despite having Kiwi internationals like the McCullum brothers -- Brendon and Nathan -- Aaron Redmond and Neil Broom besides English all-rounderDimitri Mascarenhas, there is a certain brittle look about the top order and they would have to raise their games by a few notches tomorrow to get back to winning ways.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Anil Kumble (captain),Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Balachandra Akhil, Rajesh Bishnoi, Mark Boucher, Rahul Dravid, Jacques Kallis, Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Manish Pandey, Dale Steyn, Ross Taylor, Robin Uthappa, Roelof van der Merwe, Vinay Kumar.
Otago Volts: Craig Cumming (captain),Nick Beard, Neil Broom, Ian Butler, Derek de Boorder, Matt Harvie, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, James McMillan, Warren McSkimming, Dimitri Mascarenhas, Aaron Redmond, Hamish Rutherford, Greg Todd, Neil Wagner.