RCB look to bounce back against battered KKR

After enduring two successive defeats, Bangalore gets an opportunity to bounce back when it takes on tournament laggard Kolkata in an IPL matc on Tuesday.

updated: May 12, 2009 06:48 IST
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After enduring two successive defeats, Royal Challengers Bangalore gets an opportunity to bounce back when it takes on tournament laggard Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League on Tuesday.

Just a week back, Bangalore was on a high, fourth in the Indian Premier League table on the back of three successive victories.

But seven days can prove to be pretty long in this slam bang format of the game which the Royal Challengers found out much to their dismay.

Two defeats - against Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals - and the Anil Kumble-led side has slipped to seventh in the table and would be desperate to make amends when it takes on the battered Kolkata.

With eight defeats to its credit, the Brendon McCullum-led Kolkata has no worries of slipping up further, and that is the only plus for the side which has been ripped apart by all the teams.

Its armour rusty and motivation having reached nadir, this team offers Royal Challengers a perfect launchpad in its bid to reclaim a spot in the top half of the table.

But consistency seems to be the worrying factor for Bangalore and much depends on the batting prowess of Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher, Rahul Dravid and Robin Uthappa to set things right.

The experienced Kumble leads the bowlers and is still capable of putting the spanner on the opposition provided he gets some support from the other end.

Praveen Kumar and Dillon du Preez have had decent outings and against a faltering Kolkata, they ought to fancy their chances.

But the Royal Challengers would be doing themselves harm if they choose to be complacent against an outfit, which despite an abundance of talent, hasn't performed as a team. Still, there's a thin line between hope and despair and one good outing could change all that.

They certainly have the wherewithal in McCullum - runs are long overdue from his bat - Sourav Ganguly, Brad Hodge and the big-hitting David Hussey, who is back after Australia duty.

The bowling looks a bit suspect and though Ishant Sharma and Ajit Agarkar are generating good pace, wickets seem to be hard to come by.

Kolkata would also be hoping for some luck, which it seems it have left behind while heading for the rainbow nation, as it attempts to avoid the dubious record of registering the most number of defeats in the tournament, one that is held by Deccan Chargers (12).