Bangalore:Bangalore Royal Challengers will have to play out of their skin when they take on table-toppers Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) match at home on Monday.
Royal Challengers have slumped to some crushing defeats in IPL and registered only one win in three matches so far. Super Kings, on the other hand, are on a high with three wins in a row from as many matches.
Challengers have logged two points and are languishing at sixth place in the eight-team championship while Super Kings are toppers with six points.
The manner of defeats also must be a worrying factor for Challengers skipper Rahul Dravid. They were swept aside by Kolkata Knight Riders in the lung opener and on Saturday Rajasthan Royals handed them a seven-wicket defeat. The only match they won was against Mumbai Indians in a close finish. The heavy defeats have been morale shattering for the Challengers, who are the only team, which look out of sorts on the field.
Dravid has been a flop in all three matches and has failed to inspire the team. The rest of the batting line-up, which includes Shivnaraine Chanderpaul, Jacques Kallis and Mark Boucher, have been a shadow of their great fame.
The Challengers need some big-hitters at the top of the order to get a strong start. Pakistan's Misbah-ul-Haq, the hero in the Twenty20 World Cup, sat out in their last game but he must be a certainty on Monday.
The bowling department of Challengers has also lacked the firepower to take 10 wickets. Their frontline bowlers Zaheer Khan and Parveen Kumar have not looked threatening. Veteran Anil Kumble, though, gave in a good performance in his first Twenty20 match on Saturday.
Super Kings have been riding on great form and they will hope to keep the momentum going. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has led from the front and chipped in with runs whenever required.
Super Kings batting line-up has delivered in all three matches. Matthew Hayden, Jacob Oram, Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina have got big scores under their belt.
Oram has performed with the ball also. Mutthiah Muralitharan and Joginder Sharma have also contributed well.
Super Kings scored a thumping nine-wicket win against Knight Riders on Saturday. The Royal Challengers certainly have a tough task at hand.
Bangalore: Rahul Dravid (captain), Anil Kumble, Jacques Kallis, Zaheer Khan, Cameron White, Wasim Jaffer, Dale Steyn, Nathan Bracken, Shivnaraine Chanderpaul, Mark Boucher, Misbah-ul-Haq, Ross Taylor, Abdur Razzak, K.P. Appanna, Balachandra Akhil, Jagadeesh Arunkumar, Bharat Chipli, Shreevats Goswami (wicketkeeper), Sunil Joshi, Virat Kohli, Praveen Kumar, Devraj Patil and Vinay Kumar
Chennai: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain/wicketkeeper), Matthew Hayden, Stephen Fleming, Mike Hussey, Jacob Oram, Makhaya Ntini, Muttiah Muralitharan, Albie Morkel, Joginder Sharma, Suresh Raina, Parthiv Patel, Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan, Abhinav Mukund, Suresh Kumar, Arun Karthik, Shadab Jakati, Napoleon Einstein, Subramaniam Badrinath, Lakshmipathy Balaji, R. Ashwin, Srikkanth Anirudha, Viraj Vilas Kadbe, Palani Amarnath and Manpreet Gony.