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IPL-2024: Royal Challengers Bengaluru will clash with Sunrisers Hyderabad in Bengaluru: RCB opt to bowl

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In IPL, Royal Challengers Bengaluru will clash with Sunrisers Hyderabad at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru. The match will begin at 7:30 this evening. Royal Challengers Bengaluru have won the toss and have opted to field.

The most damning indictment of Royal Challengers Bengaluru’s floundering IPL 2024 season so far is that they are comfortably bottom in most key bowling metrics: average (43.60), strike-rate (26.4) and sixes conceded (65). They’ve also taken the least wickets – 25 – a number they share with their next opponents, Sunrisers Hyderabad, who have played one game fewer.

But, while RCB are mired in wooden spoon trouble, SRH find themselves in the happy half of the points table. This is largely down to them living up to the modern T20 axiom of teams needing to maximise batting resources. After four target-setting scores in the range between 173 and 196 all ended in defeats, it is what RCB captain Faf du Plessis wants his side to do.

“We have to push for that 200. We don’t have as many weapons in our bowling. So it comes down to the batting. From a bowling perspective, we have lacked penetration. We have to get them two or three down in the powerplay. Always feels like we are on the back foot after the first four overs,” the RCB captain lamented after the crushing loss in Mumbai.

Flights back home after such chastening trips usually bring relief. For nothing is as comforting as well-known and well-made formula. Except this formula at the Chinnaswamy Stadium will also be hand delivered to the away dressing room – where the holders of the record IPL score will sit – with a hospitable ‘all-you-can-eat’ label.

With the half-way stage in the league still approaching, chaos has been the overarching theme of RCB’s campaign. They’ve used 19 players so far, benched their two most expensive pre-season signings – Cam Green and Alzarri Joseph – and are no closer to shrugging off the inertia. But after a groggy beginning that’s already left them flat on the face, the only way ahead is up.

Squads:

Sunrisers Hyderabad Squad: Travis Head, Abhishek Sharma, Aiden Markram, Heinrich Klaasen(w), Abdul Samad, Nitish Reddy, Shahbaz Ahmed, Pat Cummins(c), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jaydev Unadkat, T Natarajan, Umran Malik, Washington Sundar, Mayank Markande, Rahul Tripathi, Glenn Phillips, Anmolpreet Singh, Upendra Yadav, Jhatavedh Subramanyan, Sanvir Singh, Vijayakanth Viyaskanth, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Marco Jansen, Akash Maharaj Singh, Mayank Agarwal

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

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