Kochi v Bangalore at Nehru St. IPL 2011 Live
The Match: This is the third game of the Indian Premier League this season and will see the Kochi Tuskers from Kerala take on the Royal Challengers Bangalore at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Kochi. This is the first game ever for the Tuskers who are one of the two new teams in the tournament.
How the two teams match up: Kochi have never played in the IPL before but it must be said that they have come through a rigorous process in the months leading up to the tournament, where they have been questioned and almost banned by the IPL governing council. On the other hand, Bangalore have been a runner-up in 2009 and third-placed side in 2010.
Ground Conditions: This is a multi-faceted ground as it allows football here as well. While it is only 12 years old, there were talks of having another stadium built in place of this but for now, the home team will need to make do with this high-scoring venue.
The Teams: Kochi is being led by Mahela Jayawardene, who will have Muthiah Muralitharan in the tow. The question is whether Muralitharan is fit enough to play in this game after hobbling through the final of the ICC World Cup 2011.
Interestingly, the Kochi side has some excellent Indian bowlers, which should help them no ends – S Sreesanth will look to overcome his World Cup form issues, RP Singh seems to have disappeared but is captaining his state side in Ranji trophy while Ravindra Jadeja would be hurting over missing out on a place in the World Cup.
Bangalore did not retain anyone but Virat Kohli. They are being led by Daniel Vettori, which is a surprise given the injury issues that he has had in the recent times. Of course, the return of Zaheer Khan to the side will make it easier for the Bangalore bowling, as would the batting of Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers, both of who were explosive in the World Cup 2011.
It is the back-up bowling that will need to be looked into.
Players to look out for: Saurabh Tiwary was one of the stars of the tournament last year for Mumbai Indians. This year he plays for the Bangalore team. Brendon McCullum’s batting at the top of the innings will be one to watch out for as well.
Prediction: Bangalore should go into the game as favourites but it must be remembered that even they have a relatively new side and it could just boil down to how closely the members of the two teams gel in the tournament.
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