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RCB’s chance to stay afloat

Bangalore: After losing from a position of strength in their previous encounter against Rajasthan Royals, Royal Challengers Bangalore will lock horns against bottom-placed Delhi DareDevils in an IPL game here Tuesday.

The Royal Challengers were defeated by some incredible power-hitting by Steven Smith (48 off 21) and James Faulkner (41 off 17) and they would like to bounce back by overwhelming the out-of-sorts DareDevils.

The hapless DareDevils, on the flip side, were thrashed by Kolkata Knight Riders in their last encounter after Gautam Gambhir fashioned a strokeful 69.

Led by a feisty Virat Kohli, the Royal Challengers are struggling to keep their chances alive in the contest, having already suffered six defeats in nine games to be placed sixth.

The DareDevils, on the other hand, are placed at the bottom of the points table with two wins and seven losses in the eight-team tournament.

Having failed to exploit the home advantage to get back the momentum, the Royal Challengers’ famed batting line-up will hope to click against the dogged Royals.

Yuvraj, who made a brilliant 83 off 38 balls when the chips were down for the Royal Challengers against the Royals, would like to continue in the same vein.

The Royal Challengers dismal performance in this IPL is directly related to the failures of Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli.

Gayle has failed to fire but would like to get a big one under his belt in the remaining five games. Kohli would also be eager to be back among runs.

AB de Villiers, who is relatively the most consistent batsman with his heroics of 53 and 58 in a losing battle against Kings XI Punjab and Royals, would look to continue this brutal form in the remaining five games.

The Royal Challengers bowling looks balanced with pacer Varun Aaron (12 wickets), Mitchell Starc (11) and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal (11) among the wickets.

While DareDevils’ batting has been inconsistent in the tournament so far, the patchy and unimpressive performance of the bowlers — Mohammed Shami, Wayne Parnell, Siddharth Kaul and Shahbaz Nadeem — has not helped the side’s cause either.

The poor form of their star player and captain Kevin Pietersen has added to DareDevils’ misery.