IPL 2019: Free-falling Royal Challengers Bangalore face inconsistent Delhi Capitals test

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Zero wins so far for RCB. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Two teams who have struggled in contrasting fashion in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) campaign meet on Sunday when Royal Challengers Bangalore take on Delhi Capitals.

While star-studded cast of the Royal Challengers has one again failed to deliver the goods, Delhi Capitals have struggled with the inconsistencies of youth.

It is Bangalore who are worse off of the two teams, however, with Virat Kohli and his men yet to open their account in the 2019 edition after tasting five defeats on the bounce. The latest of them came on Friday when an Andre Russell special saw their daunting total of 205-3 scaled with considerable ease.

RCB’s BOWLING WOES

“If we bowl like that, (and) we don’t show composure in pressure moments, we deserve to be where we are in the table,” a dejected Kohli said after the loss.

The Bangalore skipper might be wondering what else he can do to stop the rot which runs so deep. On Friday, both Kohli and AB de Villiers were in sensational form with their explosive half-centuries setting up the mammoth total.

Their colossal efforts were undone with the ball with Bangalore’s bowling unit once again misfiring spectacularly. Only leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has been able to hold his end up for the franchise this season which is turning out to be a mirror image of the 2018 campaign.

They tried to shake things up on Friday by bringing in New Zealand’s Tim Southee to the playing XI but even he failed to provide any solutions after being carted for 61 runs in his four overs.

Quite simply, Bangalore don’t have the bowling arsenal to restrict any kind of opposition and that in turn, has increased the pressure on their formidable batting line up. When the batsmen fail to fire, the results are even more catastrophic like in their 118-run loss to Sunrisers Hyderabad.

While Royal Challengers’ play-off hopes might be all but over already, Delhi are in danger of falling out of the running as well after what has been a mixed campaign riddled with inconsistency.

Having gone the route of youth with an extremely young and promising core of Indian batsmen, Delhi have won just the one game from their five so far inside the regulation 20 overs. Their second win against Kolkata Knight Riders came via a super over.

Kohli running out of ideas. Image credit - @IPL/Twitter.

Kohli running out of ideas. Image credit – @IPL/Twitter.

DELHI’S MISFIRING YOUNGSTERS

While pinning all your hopes can be extremely rewarding when the young guns fire, it can throw up some spectacular collapses as well as was seen in Delhi’s defeat to Kings XI Punjab when they lost their final seven wickets for just eight runs.

The likes of Prithvi Shaw, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant have all played some brilliant knocks in the tournament but they have also been guilty of throwing away their wickets at crucial stages with some inexcusable shot-making.

The unpredictability of youth will not go away overnight for Delhi and as such, it has become even more pertinent for their experienced campaigners like Shikhar Dhawan, Chris Morris and Ishant Sharma to lead from the front and take responsibility.

The head-to-head record between the two teams is not flattering for Delhi with Bangalore enjoying a 15-6 advantage. However, given the struggles of the home team, Delhi will fancy their chances of returning home with a win.

Delhi's youngsters have been inconsistent. Image - BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

Delhi’s youngsters have been inconsistent. Image – BCCI/SPORTZPICS.

LIKELY XIs

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Parthiv Patel (wk), AB de Villiers, Marcus Stoinis, Moeen Ali, Akshdeep Nath, Pawan Negi, Navdeep Saini, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Yuzvendra Chahal, Umesh Yadav.

Delhi Capitals: Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Colin Ingram, Rahul Tewatia, Chris Morris, Axar Patel, Sandeep Lamichhane, Ishant Sharma, Kagiso Rabada.

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