2011 CL T20 Tournament Opener: RCB hold edge over Warriors

Royal Challengers Bangalore and Warriors have played the 2010 Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa. Both reached the semifinals, Warriors moved to finals also. But being placed in different groups they did not play against each other.

Qualifier Scorecard and Statistics
2011 Qualifier Schedule
2011 Team Squads

RCB is the only team to have qualified for all the three, including current, Champions League tournament. Yet, their best finish is only the semifinal of last edition. With Gayle in their side, they feel confident to improve their tournament record. They have one of the most attacking and efficient batting line-up in th e form of Gayle, Dilshan, AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli, with Kaif and Saurabh Tiwary to back up.

But, bowling is their main concern. Except captain Vettori and up to some extent Aravind, none of the bowlers impressed during their route to IPL 2011 final. Gayle took them almost single-handedly to the final using his willow as well as turning the leather lethally.

Warriors, on the other hand are appearing for second consecutive chance. In Botha they have one of the most aggressive and efficient captain. Their bowling is one of the best among the participating teams. Yet, without Davy Jacobs, captain in 2010 campaign and who has opted to play for Mumbai Indians, their batting may lose that edge. With matches scheduled to happen in India, Warrior batsmen may struggle more considering the slow track.

Past Record in CL T20

Stats RCB Warriors
Matches 9 6
Wins 4 4
Loss 5 2
Best Finish Semis (2010) Final
Highest Score 188/2 181/4
Lowest Score 123 126/8
50s 6 4

Previous Performances
In 2009, RCB played 4 matches winning 2 matches against Otago and Delhi Daredevils, and losing against Cape Cobras and finalist, Victoria. Despite playing all the pool matches at home, they appeared to be completely misplaced in the tournament.

2010 was much better. Their pace battery found South African pitches more friendly. Yet, they failed against quality bowling, being bowled out twice in the tournament.

Warriors were ruling at home in 2010. But another Indian team Chennai Super Kings was the only team to prove better. Warriors lost 2 matches, both to CSK and one of them was the final.

Prediction
Going into the opening match of the 3rd edition of the tournament, RCB appears favorite. They have problem of plenty, while Warriors appear a weaker batting unit in the absence of Davy Jacobs. Ready yourself for firecrackers from Gayle and Kohli.

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