KPs men set to take on resurgent Chargers
Shrugging off the hangover of second-match defeat will be high on the agenda of Royal Challengers Bangalore, while Deccan Chargers would strive to keep their redemption journey on when the two teams lock horns.
The Bangalore team started their journey in the second edition of the Twenty20 tournament in style by drubbing the defending champion Rajasthan Royals by 75 runs, but could not show that consistency in their second encounter which they lost to Chennai Super Kings by 92 runs on Monday.
Skipper Kevin Pietersen will certainly expect another gutsy knock from Rahul Dravid, whose 48-ball 66 laid the cornerstone of their win in the first match, while there might be some experiments with the opening slot depending on the conditions on the match day.
But a good foundation by the opening pair is going to be crucial to post a good score or chase down a stiff target, specially under artificial lightings, set before them.
Pietersen himself will be there adding to the strength of the middle order batting, while he will also expect the star Protea all rounder Jaques Kallis to encash on home advantage.
Their bowling department did well in the first match skittling out Shane Warne-led team for a paltry 58, thanks to Anil Kumble's five-for, but appeared a bit sluggish against the Chennai Super Kings in Monday's encounter.
The bowling line up, consisting top South African paceman Dale Steyn and all-rounder Kallis, have to bring about the consistency if the Bangalore team, which finished seventh in inaugural edition, to put the records straight this time.
On the other hand, Deccan Chargers who languished at the bottom of the tally last year, started their campaign on a positive note with a comprehensive eight-wicket win against Kolkata Knight Riders.
The Hyderabad-based side will heavily rely upon their strong batting line up, with skipper Adam Gilchrist joining hands with in-form South African Herschelle Gibbs to form the opening pair.
VVS Laxman might have lost the captaincy after last year's dismal show but the team will certainly expect some timely knocks from the stylish Hyderabadi batsman with New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris coming lower in the batting order.
Deccan's new-ball pair of R P Singh, who played the wrecker-in-chief against Shah Rukh Khan-owned side scalping four wickets for just 22 runs, and West Indian Fidel Edwards have fine penetration ability which is enough to make the opponents worried.
After their creditable show in last match, Gilchrist will also not hesitate to depend on the bowling prowess of Pragyan Ojha and Styris to produce some timely break-through.