G Aparna Sai
On a high after their victories against the Deccan Chargers and the Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Pune Warriors India today on the latter’s home ground.
The Challengers, under the captaincy of stand-in skipper, Virat Kohli, have done quite well. They walloped the Chargers on Sunday and repeated their demolition act on Wednesday when they clashed with Mumbai.
Having a very strong batting line-up with the likes of Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers and Tillakaratne Dilshan in the side, Bangalore do not have much to worry about.
However, the same cannot be told about the Warriors from Pune, who, like the Charges, do not stand a chance of qualifying for the playoffs. They currently have only eight points from 13 matches and are placed at the eight position on the points table.
The Sourav Ganguly led side were considered under dogs when the fifth season commenced but they proved otherwise and began the tournament on a winning note. Their performance even saw them figure among the top four sides in the standings. But the recent past has seen the Warriors perform in a contrasting manner. They have lost tight matches and their performance has not been upto the mark. Many key players failed to fire and luck also seemed to be evade them.
Meanwhile the Challengers would do all to win this match as every clash from now, would determine if they could make it to the playoffs or not. With most of the teams going neck to neck in the points, it is highly likely that even the net run rate would come into account.
In this match, what remains to be is seen, is if Pune would salvage their pride and play party spoilers to the Challengers or will RCB manage to extend their winning streak.