Pant out in win-or-bust game

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (PC: X)

Royal Challengers Bengaluru will take on Delhi Capitals at Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday. RCB have experienced a remarkable turnaround after a rocky start to their IPL campaign, securing four consecutive wins and now eyeing a spot in the playoffs.

For Delhi Capitals, skipper Rishabh Pant will miss the crucial game due to over-rate suspension and Axar Patel will be the stand-in captain. DC have had a mixed season with six wins and an equal number of losses, currently occupying the fifth position on the points table. They will be determined to clinch victory and move up to fourth place, bolstering their playoff aspirations.

In RCB’s recent successful streak, much credit goes to their top batsman, Virat Kohli. Criticised in the past for his strike-rate, Kohli has shown a new approach in his recent outings. He is not only anchoring the innings but also displaying a more aggressive intent, frequently clearing the boundary ropes. The added dimension has provided RCB with the extra boost, albeit a little late. While Kohli always had exceptional game-understanding, he is now truly flourishing at the back-end of the IPL.

Towering scores have become the norm in T20 cricket. And from that perspective, Kohli’s return to form holds immense significance for RCB’s fortunes. With teams consistently breaching the 200-run mark, Kohli’s ability to adapt and excel has augured well for his side. What sets apart Kohli’s recent performances is his steadfast adherence to his natural game, characterised by classical shot-making. Instead of resorting to frenetic slogging, Kohli has remained true to his strengths, relying on proper cricketing shots to score runs with elegance and finesse.

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Royal Challengers Bengaluru
Royal Challengers Bengaluru (Source -X)

Rajat Patidar’s return to form couldn’t have come at a better time for RCB as well. Despite initial struggles, Patidar has bounced back admirably, adding depth to RCB’s batting alongside the likes of Will Jacks, Cameron Green and veteran Dinesh Karthik. In addition to Patidar’s resurgence, Swapnil Singh has been effective with his spin bowling in the Powerplay overs, providing RCB with crucial breakthroughs. Mohammed Siraj, who impressed in the previous game, will be eager to maintain his positive momentum for the remaining fixtures, further strengthening RCB’s bowling attack.

DC face a daunting challenge against an in-form RCB side, but they boast several ‘X-factor’ players who could swing the momentum in their favour. Jake Fraser-McGurk has been the standout performer for DC this season and he will aim to continue his impressive form with the bat. Abhishek Porel has provided solidity at the top of the order, fulfilling DC’s expectations admirably.

As regards to bowling, Kuldeep Yadav has been DC’s standout bowler this season, and his skills are expected to pose a significant threat to RCB’s batting line-up.

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