Match 50 Preview: Kochi Tuskers Vs Royal Challengers

Kochi Tuskers and Royal Challengers Bangalore play the Golden Jubilee match of IPL 2011 at Bangalore. Eyeing the Points Table both can afford to lose only one match in their remaining matches.

Both played the third match of the tournament at Kochi against each other. In a close match, AB de Villiers helped RCB to defeat inexperienced Kochi Tuskers, playing their first-ever IPL match.

2011 Performances
RCB has seized the losing streak of 3 consecutive losses, after winnning the first game against Kochi Tuskers. In the second match they were thumped by Mumbai Indians. Then failed to chase high target against Deccan Chargers, and lost without fight against Chennai Super Kings. After the washed-out match against Rajasthan Royals, Gayle-force thwarted the strong Knight Riders. The top-order ensured another smooth victory against Pune Warriors. Gayle’s record century and all-round performance ensured another thumping win against Kings XI in the last match.

When Kochi played their first match, they went on to score the highest score of the tournament, scoring 161/5. But Bangalore batsmen chased it. Even Pune Warriors defeated them in the same fashion. But, against Mumbai Indians they realised their batting strength and decided to chase, and earned their first victory. Against Chennai Super Kings also they earned easy victory chasing a high score. Against Knight Riders, Kochi bowlers earned a remarkable victory defending low target. Kochi batsmen failed miserably in the absence of Brendum McCullum and Rajasthan Royals thumped them. Against Deccan Chargers, they reached another low by scoring third lowest total of IPL and losing the match, which they should have won. They lost the last match against DD. After a string of defeats, finally Kochi could win their 4th match, easily thumping Delhi Daredevils at Kotla. Then in the back-to-back match they drubbed KKR again.

Player’s Performance in 2011
Kochi’s player’s performance index shows McCullum, Jadeja, Hodge and captain Mahela in tremendous forum. Hodge has regained form and approaching 200-mark. Even Parthiv Patel has joined the 100-club. Their bowlers have shown quick improvement taking 42 wickets in 10 matches.

RCB Player’s performance index indicate 36 wickets for bowlers in 9 matches, one of which was washed out. With Gayle’s two centuries, 5 of their batsmen are in 100-club now with Kohli leading the chart and Gayle, AB de Villiers, Dilshan and Saurabh Tiwary following him.

Head-to-Head: RCB 1, KTK 0

    RCB def KTK by 6 wickets.

Who Will Win Today!!
Although RCB has won earlier, Kochi Tuskers appear to be set on another winning streak. During their first streak they won 3 consecutive matches, now they have won 2. Even the first match win by RCB was a close one. But RCB is too strong at home. Considering the form of Gayle, Kolhi and AB, RCB have a clear edge.

Key Battles
McCullum/Mahela/Hodge vs Zaheer and Co
With Jadeja hardly getting opportunity to bat, in defeat or victory, despite being in the form of his life McCullum, Mahela and Hodge will be the key batsmen for Kochi. Zaheer has not been so scuccesful in IPL. Aravind is their leading wicket taker. Overall under Vettori, RCB bowling is good but might have to face a big test against Kochi batsmen.

Gayle/Kohli vs Kochi Bowlers
Gayle has already hit 2 centuries and almost a half-century. Kohli has crossed 300-run mark. But, Kochi bowlers have a decent performance behind. In fact, they are not using Muralitharan shows their bowling strength now. With some tricks up on sleeve, Kochi bowlers may be able to sail pass the Gayle storm and Kohli’s form.

RCB Squad
Batsman: AB de Villiers (WK), Luke Pomersbach, Rilee Rossouw, Saurabh Tiwary, Mayank Agarwal, Muralidharen Gautam, Mohammad Kaif, Virat Kohli, Asad Pathan, Cheteshwar Pujara,
Allrounder: Daniel Vettori (Captain), Tillakaratne Dilshan, Jonathan Vandiar
Bowlers: Dirk Nannes, Charl Langeveldt, Johan van der Wath, Zaheer Khan, Sreenath Aravind, Arun Karthik, BN Bharath, Raju Bhatkal, Nuwan Pradeep, Abrar Kazi, Abhimanyu Mithun, Ryan Ninan

Kochi Tuskers Kerala Squad
Batsman: Mahela Jayawardene (captain), Michael Klinger, Brendon McCullum (WK), Owais Shah, VVS Laxman, Kedar Jadhav, Chandan Madan, Parthiv Patel (WK), Yashpal Singh
Allrounder: John Hastings, Brad Hodge, Steve O’Keefe, Thisara Perera, Steven Smith, Ravindra Jadeja,
Bowlers: Muttiah Muralitharan, Sreesanth, Ramesh Powar, RP Singh, Vinay Kumar, Balachandra Akhil, Balachandra Akhil, Deepak Chougule, Gnaneswara Rao, Raiphi Gomez, Sushant Marathe, Prasanth Padmanabhan, Tanmay Srivastava

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