The Gujarat Lions and the Royal Challengers Bangalore will both be looking to get off the foot of the IPL log when they clash on Tuesday.Tuesday’s IPL clash is an absolute must win for both the Gujarat Lions as well as the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The teams occupy the bottom two positions on the standings as the pressure builds on the respective coaches and players to turn things around before it's too late.
GL vs RCB | Tuesday 18 April 2016 | Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium | 16:30
To Win Match
Lions 92/100 | Tie 35/1 | Royal Challengers 92/100
Something drastic needs to happen in Gujarat if the Lions are to sneak into the play-off places. With just two points after four matches, Brad Hodge’s side sit second bottom on the standings. That said, they do have a game in hand over everyone else in the competition aside from the Daredevils.
With that in mind, the men from Rajkot will still be reasonably confident of grabbing themselves a play-off place. To be honest, they’ve only really had one poor all-round performance this season, as they lost to the Sunrisers by nine wickets after setting a meagre total of 135.
Other than that, they were on the end of a freak 10-wicket defeat in their opener against KKR as Gautam Gambhir and Chris Lynn made short work of the 183-run total. Their other two defeats against the Mumbai Indians and the Rising Pune Supergiant were both pretty tight encounters which suggest that the side isn’t too far off where they need to be in terms of their batting.
They’ve battled with the ball so far taking just 14 wickets in four matches. Andrew Tye has been their standout bowler so far, collecting an incredible seven wickets in just two appearances. He’s lacked any kind of meaningful support, though, with Ravindra Jadeja, Munaf Patel, Basil Thampi and Praveen Kumar all battling to pick up wickets. They can’t get Dwayne Bravo back to full fitness quickly enough.
A poor bowling display against one of the most stacked batting line-ups in the competition could be devastating for the Gujarat side. I shudder to think of the sort of damage Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers could do if the Tye fails to hit his straps.
Aaron Finch should come back into the side for Jason Roy for this match after his kit bag went missing for their last match. The big Australian found some form against the Supergiant, smashing a 19-ball 33 to take the Gujarat franchise to their first win of the competition following underwhelming scores of three and 15 in his first two matches.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
RCB have been uncharacteristically poor this campaign and need to turn things around now if they are to make the play-offs. A solitary win from five matches isn’t anywhere near good enough for last year’s losing finalists.
Their biggest issue coming into this match has been trying to squeeze in their international players. AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli simply can’t be dropped which means that Tymal Mills, Chris Gayle, Shane Watson, Samuel Badree, Billy Stanlake, Tabraiz Shamsi and Adam Milne are left to slug it out for the remaining two slots.
I think that the RCB brains trust needs to go with a bit of consistency at this point. They’ve used a different opening combination in every match they’ve played this far which has forced players up and down the order making settling into the competition extremely difficult.
I’d open with Gayle and Kohli with de Villiers coming in at three – it worked for the side last season and took the pressure off the middle order players who are perhaps not as experienced on the biggest stage. Playing your most destructive batsmen against the weakest attack in the competition is also a bit of a no-brainer.
Bowling wise, Vettori should probably look at keeping Mills out of the side. The English quick has struggled to make an impression in his first IPL campaign after collecting an astronomical fee at auction. Milne will keep his place after a magnificent performance against the Supergiant over the weekend. His four overs went for just 27-runs an included 11 dot balls and two wickets.
Verdict: Royal Challengers Bangalore 92/100
The Royal Challengers have too much batting depth for the Lions’ pretty average bowling attack. Back the likes of Gayle, de Villiers and Kohli to destroy what has been the competition’s weakest bowling attack.
Value Bet: A hundred to be scored in the match: Yes 6/1
With so much batting talent on display on display coupled with both team’s inadequacies with the ball, we could well see some massive scores here. At 6/1, this looks to be an excellent value bet – get on!