Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Friday, May 06, 2011
ePaper | Mobile/PDA Version
Google



Sport

News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary |

Sport Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

RCB starts as clear favourite

Shreedutta Chidananda

Victory against Kings XI will see it leapfrog to fourth place

— Photo: G.P. Sampath Kumar

TAKING IT EASY:Virat Kohli and Ryan Ninan enjoy a spot of football during practice ahead of the match against Kings XI Punjab.

Bangalore: Royal Challengers Bangalore's players, it emerged, spent the first half of their six-day break between matches entirely away from cricket.

The team's official website reported that some players flew home and that a few others enjoyed an evening out at a karaoke restaurant in the city. Chris Gayle informed his 53,368 followers on Twitter that he was in Goa, having, by his own account, a good time.

It is not known how Kings XI Punjab's cricketers occupied themselves during their three-day interval, but chances are that there wasn't an enormous amount of merry-making.

If RCB faced a beleaguered team in Pune Warriors last week, its opponent this Friday is not exactly untroubled either.

Kings XI Punjab will take the field at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on the back of three consecutive defeats, and none of them by very fine margins.

Some worries

The Mohali outfit sits second from bottom on the table although that it has played two games fewer than most should be some mitigation.

The openers and one-drop — Adam Gilchrist, Paul Valthaty and Shaun Marsh — have scored most of Punjab's runs this season.

Although not a bad thing in itself, this is worrying because where they have failed to finish the job, the trio of Dinesh Karthik, David Hussey and Abhishek Nayar — a capable line-up on paper — has let the side down.

The defeats against Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians both featured desperate, valiant batting by Marsh in the face of serial desertions at the other end.

Left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma came into the side after the loss at Delhi and has impressed with his economy in the two games since.

The Punjab attack features three other spinners in Bhargav Bhatt, Piyush Chawla, and Hussey; their efforts against a confident RCB batting unit will make for an invigorating contest.

Seamers Praveen Kumar and Ryan Harris have conceded in excess of eight runs an over in IPL-IV, but their figures should be seen in the light of their having bowled mostly in the Power Play overs.

For the home side, the match represents an opportunity to climb back into the play-off places at the expense of Rajasthan Royals.

Tillakaratne Dilshan's failures have been offset by, and temporarily overlooked due to, the intimidating form Gayle and Virat Kohli have been in.

The latter is 57 runs behind Sachin Tendulkar on the scoring charts, and with his stint at No. 3 set to continue, may find the ‘orange cap' resting on his head before the night is out.

Closer to that honour, however, is Kings XI's Valthaty (50 runs adrift) and the task of containing him will be shared among a bowling group that has seen one or two of its members markedly improve in recent games.

Karnataka team-mates Abhimanyu Mithun and S. Arvind turned in admirable performances in the victory against Pune Warriors here, and look likely to keep their spots.

Veteran Zaheer Khan too seems to have regained his mojo, in what will offer further encouragement to skipper Daniel Vettori and reinforce his side's status as patent favourite ahead of the tie.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



Sport

News: ePaper | Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Retail Plus | Classifieds | Jobs | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |

Sportstar Subscribe


News Update



The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | The Hindu ePaper | Business Line | Business Line ePaper | Sportstar | Frontline | Publications | eBooks | Images | Ergo | Home |

Copyright 2011, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu