With just nine points from four wins and one abandoned tie out of 10 games, hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are desperate to get back to the winning streak for a place in the knockout stage ahead of its crucial tie Sunday against underdogs Deccan Chargers (DC) in the Indian Premier League at the Chinnaswamy stadium here.
"We have six matches left. We need to win three or four straight games to enter the knockout stage. Every game is going to be crucial for us," RCB's middle order batsman and medium pacer from Victoria Andrew McDonald told reporters here Saturday before going to the nets for a gruelling practice session with the team.
Though Deccan Chargers, the 2009 IPL-3 champions, languish at the bottom of the table with five points from two wins against Pune Warriors April 26 and May 1 and one point from an abandoned tie against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) April 24, the home team is not taking chances and is sweating it to bounce back on its home ground. There it has won only twice against Delhi Daredevils April 7 and Pune Warriors April 17 but lost to KKR April 10, Rajasthan Royals April 15 and Kings XI Punjab May 2.
"We are coming up against a good opposition. They (Deccan Chargers) have struck a bit of form in the last few games. They have put up some good performances together. As they may take a few teams down, we have to look out for that and drop our guard Sunday," McDonald observed.
Asked if he or Dilshan Tillakaratne would be playing against Chargers, the Aussie all-rounder said the team management would decide on the final team Sunday afternoon after reading the condition of the pitch.
"If there is a bounce and swing in the pitch, the management would pick me. If the wicket is bit dry, then Dilshan may play. All we try to do is to get the ultimate team balance. We have to see how the pitch will be and who will play. I am hopeful to get something dry unlike the greenish pitch we were offered in the last game against Punjab," McDonald noted.
Six defeats out of nine games notwithstanding, Deccan Chargers coach and former Australian cricket Darren Lehmann said the team would go all out to win against a formidable RCB as they fancy chances to reverse the trend of losing to every opponent barring Warriors against whom they won back-to-back games.
"It has been hard for us though we had two wins in between. It is our job to better our skills. We could have won a few games had we fielded well and finished the games on a winning note. I expect the boys to perform better than they had done, especially in fielding," Lehmann told reporters after overseeing the players at nets within hours on reaching from Chennai earlier in the day.
The former one-time champion lost to most of the teams barring Warriors, though some in the last over and even on the last ball.
Admitting that the Hyderabad team was a young side and had not been used toplay before huge crowds, Lehmann said the problem of inconsistency was not only with Indian players, but also with overseas players.
"That what happens when you have a young side. They are going to be inconsistent over a period of time. It is not about only Indian players performing, but even overseas players should chip in," the coach asserted.