Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are set to resume their rivalry with Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Match 35 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 later today (September 24). CSK bounced back well in their first game since return with a comprehensive win over Mumbai Indians (MI) in their first game, while RCB were bundled out for just 92 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their previous match.
Former England batsman Mark Butcher, however, reckons that playing in Sharjah could be a great opportunity for RCB to resurrect their batting.
“The fact that they are playing in Sharjah will please the batters on both teams. It’s just an absolute run-feast there, tiny little ground, flat pitch. If you’re ever going to make good of a poor batting performance you want to do it in Sharjah,” Butcher said on Cricket.com’s ‘Man vs Machine.’
However, Butcher still backs RCB to go on and clinch their maiden IPL title but admits that he is a little worried about them.
“They had a rather nice shock at the resumption in their first game out. But I still think they have a making of a really good side. The fact that they are playing against Chennai today worries me slightly because it’s an outfit that has so much experience and that certainly has not counted against them – all those over 30 in their team are still doing the business. They came off the back of an impressive win in their previous game. I’m a little worried for RCB, but not that worried that I am going to change my mind,” Butcher said.
Speaking of CSK, Butcher, a veteran of 71 Tests spoke very highly of their resilience after they managed to turn the game around after losing four wickets in the powerplay against Mumbai.
“They are unbelievably resilient,” Butcher said.
The fact that they were five-down (vs MI), most of the teams would have folded from there. They have so much know-how in that team, so much experience. They won’t panic given a scenario like that. If RCB are to get past Chennai, they have to muscle them off the park to put them out of the game with the bat.”
“The run-chases (in Sharjah) are successful 60% of the time and with RCB’s batting line-up with the spin that CSK have to go for… if it turns out to be that way around, RCB are chasing, it could be one heck of a contest,” Butcher adds.
This is a crucial match for both teams. A win for CSK will ensure that they have one fort into the playoffs, however, if RCB win, they will be level on points with the men in yellow, which will make for an exciting final five matches