royal challengers keep playoffs hopes alive (Preview)May 13th, 2012 - 11:38 pm ICT by IANS
Bangalore, May 13 (IANS) Two-time runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore are keeping hopes of a place in the play-offs alive as they take on Mumbai Indians Monday in a crucial tie of the Indian Premier League-V at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in this tech hub.
Though Royals emphatically beat Mumbai by nine wickets in Mumbai May 9, they are not taking chances as the track record shows them losing to the latter in all the IPl matches on the home ground.
“We would like to change that this time. We have watched them play against Kolkata Knight Riders yesterday (Saturday). We understood their approach to the game. Keeping this in mind, we will chalk-out a strategy before thestart of the game,” Challengers’ bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad told reporters here Sunday ahead of the high-octane match.
With three wins against Delhi Daredevils April 7, Pune Warriors April 17 and Deccan Chargers May 6 on home turf with an equal number of defeats against Knight Riders April 10, Rajasthan Royals April 15 and Kings XI Punjab May 2, Challengers’ are again betting on star batsmen Chris Gayle, Tillakaratne Dilshan, AB de Villiers and stand-in captain Virat Kohli for a repeat performance to outsmart Mumbai, who have won eight of their 13 games, most of them away, and lost the remaining five.
A back-to-backmatch between Royal Challengers and Chennai Super Kings here April 25 was abandoned due to a heavy downpour, with the teams sharing a point each.
“It is importantfor us to keep winning at the fag end of the IPL instead of brooding over the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents. Though the format is a batsman’s game, the bowlers play a very important role. Whenever our bowlers have done well, we have been in a good position to chase or defend,” an upbeat Prasad, a former India pacer, asserted.
Hinting that theteam would try to retain the composition with which it had won back-to-back games against Mumbai and Warriors, Prasad said captain Daniel Vettori would continue to sit out as Sri Lankan offie Muthaiah Muralitharan has been doing exceedingly well.
“It looks like that though it is difficult to speak about tomorrow’s (Monday’s) team composition. It was magnanimous of Daniel to drop himself out because as a captain, he was doing what was something brilliant. As Murali has done exceedingly well, we hope him to continue in the same form as well,” Prasad observed.
Lauding Kohli’s captaincy in the last couple of games in place of Vettori, Prasad said even as a stand-in skipper, Kohli had shown that he was ready to take on the responsibility by even fielding in any position, including long-on.
“Kohli has been very vibrant on the field. He has demonstrated leadership qualities as evident from his bowling changes and field placements, including his own position. He always listens to the coach and senior players in the team,” Prasad recalled.
Asked if the teamhad specific plans for the Mumbai openers - batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar and Herschelle Gibbs - Prasad said they had plans for every opponent batsman, especially for the top order, though the team would depend on its bowlers’ strength to restrict or take them out early.
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Tags: ab de villiers, batsman, bowling coach, captain daniel, challengers, chris gayle, daredevils, deccan, dilshan, fag end, heavy downpour, home turf, ipl, knight riders, kohli, repeat performance, taking chances, thestart, time runners, venkatesh prasad