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In-form RCB wary of volatile DC in a must-win match

Pushed into a tight corner, Royal Challengers Bengaluru rose above their weaknesses and recorded four wins on the trot to stay alive in the race to the play-offs, but a volatile Delhi Capitals offer them a different challenge in their penultimate IPL league match here on Sunday.

In-form RCB wary of volatile DC in a must-win match

Leading up to this match, RCB had defeated Gujarat Titans twice, Punjab Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad once each.

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While the win over SRH was brave, RCB did not face much of a challenge from the floundering Titans and Kings.

But the Capitals are a team unlike any other, as they have fluctuated between brilliant and ordinary in the space of a few days.

On April 27, the Rishabh Pant-led side posted a hefty 257/4 in their 10-run win over Mumbai Indians and on April 29, they posted a modest 153/9 as they capitulated against Kolkata Knight Riders.

RCB, currently seventh with 10 points from 12 matches, will be desperately hoping they don’t encounter those brilliant Capitals as defeat could undo their good work in the last four matches.

But their confidence will be high with a strong and consistent batting effort led by talisman Virat Kohli.

Kohli is the leading run-getter in this IPL with 634 runs, but more importantly, these runs have come at a rapid pace of 153, giving RCB early momentum in setting or chasing targets.

Along with Kohli, extra runs from skipper Faf du Plessis, Rajat Patidar, Cameron Green and Dinesh Karthik have provided a cushion to their bowlers, who have responded admirably to the call.

The transformation of RCB bowlers in the last four matches has been nothing short of remarkable.

Mohammed Siraj has found his mojo after a 10-day break and has received excellent support from fellow pacer Yash Dayal and left-arm spinner Swapnil Singh.

After the match against PBKS, Siraj and Dayal’s total run-rate fell below 10 for the first time this season, no mean feat in a tournament where points were scored at a breakneck pace.

Their skills will first be tested by Jack Fraser-McGurk, who has scored 309 runs in seven matches with an impressive strike rate of 235.87.

McGurk picked up the opener when David Warner – 167 runs from 7 matches at a strike rate of 135 – had to sit out with injury, and has not once felt the veteran’s absence.

His opening partner Abhishek Porel has also made runs at a strike rate of 157, although the DC management will be happier if he adds more consistency to his game.

Skipper Pant and Tristan Stubbs have also been among the runs made at a reasonable clip and the duo have been forced to fire at the incoming RCB bowlers.

In the bowling department, DC will feel they may have a slight edge.

Spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel have been frugal while sharing 24 wickets between them as they have maintained economy rates of 8.2 and 7.3 respectively – gold dust, while others have gone above 10.

Their combined eight overs will have a huge say in the match as the wrist spinner and his left-arm comrade will have to contain the free-flowing RCB batters in the middle stages.

If pacers Khaleel Ahmed and Mukesh Kumar can strike some blows upfront, DC can hope to contain the home side.

Teams:

Royal Challengers Bengaluru: Faf du Plessis, Glenn Maxwell, Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Anuj Rawat, Dinesh Karthik, Suyash Prabhudessai, Will Jacks, Mahipal Lomror, Karn Sharma, Manoj Bhandage, Mayank Dagar, Vijaykumar Vyshak, Akash Deep, Mohammed Siraj, Reece Topley, Himanshu Sharma, Rajan Kumar, Cameron Green, Alzarri Joseph, Yash Dayal, Tom Curran, Lockie Ferguson, Swapnil Singh, Saurav Chauhan.

Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Abishek Porel, Shai Hope, Rishabh Pant, Sumit Kumar, Tristan Stubbs, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mukesh Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Khaleel Ahmed, Kumar Kushagra, Praveen Dubey, Lalit Yadav , Lizaad Williams, David Warner, Jhye Richardson, Anrich Nortje, Yash Dhull, Mitchell Marsh, Ricky Bhui, Rasikh Dar Salam, Vicky Ostwal, Swastik Chikara.

The match starts at 7:30 PM.

This article was generated from an automated feed from a news agency without any changes to the text.

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