Bangalore: Royal Challengers Bangalore would look to break their losing streak and bring their campaign back on track when they take on bottom-placed Deccan Chargers in their Indian Premier League clash, here on Sunday.
The race to seal one of the places in the play-offs has started and every win or loss would a count a lot from here.
Bangalore are placed sixth with nine points, two points adrift of fourth-placed Chennai Super Kings.
In their previous two outings, the hosts were hammered by Kolkata Knight Riders by 47 runs and then Kings XI Punjab won a tight match against them by four wickets.
A win on Sunday would serve them well as they face formidable teams ahead - table toppers Delhi Daredevil and Mumbai Indians twice in a week's time.
Team Bangalore's bowling has been a concern as their skipper Daniel Vettori has not made much of an impact while India seamers Zaheer Khan and Vinay Kumar have also been patchy.
Their batting too has struggled as apart from big-hitting Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, Saurabh Tiwary and Mayank Agarwal have not pulled their weight.
They may think of accommodating Muttaiah Muralidaran but since Vettori can only pick four overseas players, it remains to be seen who they drop, if at all they recall the wily Sri Lankan.
It has been an unfortunate scenario for RCB since Muralidaran has scalped eight wickets in four matches at an impressive average (14.00) and economy rate (7.00) compared to Vettori's five in 10 matches played so far.
Gayle and AB de Villiers have been terrific so far and in that case either Tilkkaratne Dilshan or Andrew McDonald would have to make way for Muralidaran.
Dilshan has scored just one half century so far, scoring an unbeaten 76 against Rajasthan Royals in a match won by RCB by 46 runs.
Despite just two wins under their belt in 10 games Chargers are a dangerous opponent as they have very little hope of qualifying for the knockouts but they can spoil the party for any one of the big teams.
Luck has not favoured the Chargers much. They have had four last-ball games which they lost. Even their fielding has been an area of concern. Shoddy fielding has let them down in many matches.
Of late although, Chargers' batting unit has come out with flying colours with Cameron White firing against Pune (74) and Chennai (77). Chargers captain Kumar Sangakkara also struck form scoring 82 against Pune. The team management will be hoping for them to come good yet again.
There is also concern for Chargers over hard-hitting South African southpaw JP Duminy's injury. He was left out against Pune and Chennai. Sangakkara will be hoping the South African is match-fit on Sunday to boost the batting.
Sangakkara still has not lost hope of catching the rest on points table. Chargers, after a disastrous five game losing streak, have shown signs of a recovery. They have taken five out of the 10 points possible in their last five matches.
With six games left to play, Chargers could be right back in the competition if they can pull off three back-to-back wins against Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab and Rajasthan Royals.
Deccan Chargers: Kumar Sangakkar (capt.), Parthiv Patel, Shikhar Dhawan, Bharat Chipli, Cameron White, Jean Paul Duminy, Dan Christian, Ashish Reddy, Amit Mishra, Juan Theron, Manpreet Gony, Kedar Devdhar, Daniel Harris, Ishank Jaggi, Abhishek Jhunjhunwala, Akash Bhandari, Chris Lynn, Tanmay Mishra.
Royal Challengers Banaglore: Daniel Vettori, Mayank Agarwal, KP Appanna, Sreenath Aravindm, Arun Karthik, Raju Bhatkal, AB de Villiers, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Chris Gayle, Mohammad Kaif, Abrar Kazi, Zaheer Khan, Virat Kohli, Charl Langeveldt, Andrew McDonald, Abhimanyu Mithun, Muttiah Muralitharan, Karun Nair, Dirk Nannes, Ryan Ninan, Harshal Patel, Asad Pathan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rilee Rossouw, Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad, S Thiyagarajan, Saurabh Tiwary, Vinay Kumar, Vijay Zol.