The Royal Challengers Bangalore will know nothing but a win will do in their IPL 2016 match in Bengaluru on Saturday. However, their opponents – the Rising Pune Supergiants – are also in that same must-win-every-game position, making this match at the Chinnaswamy Stadium one to savour.
RCB have lost five of their seven matches, while RPS are worse off, having lost six of their nine. A win for the Royal Challengers on Saturday will take them level on points with RPS, with a game in hand – as good a place as there is to start, if they plan to go on a run that could propel them all the way to the top four.
"Every game is a must win game from now on," RCB all-rounder Chris Jordan, who is expected to make his debut on Saturday, told IPL's official website. "Yes, we can be tempted to look too far ahead, but first and foremost, we'll have to deal with the game (against RPS).
"Every game has to be treated like a semifinal now and if we treat it like that, all the boys will give150%. Pune won (against the Delhi Daredevils) as well so they will be growing in confidence. Hopefully, we can stop them."
To stop them, the RCB bowling needs to improve. Their bowlers did a great job of snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory in the last game against KKR, and Virat Kohli has failed to find a solution to the problem that has dogged RCB all season. Kohli will hope Jordan, a specialist in the death overs, can come and add some assurance to the RCB bowling.
"I have watched quite a few games. As far as the bowling is concerned, it's not really for me to say," Jordan added when asked about his new team's bowling struggles. "The guys are working really hard at training and obviously have great skill levels.
"The way things are going right now for the team, that's life. We just need to keep looking forward to the next game and the game after that and hopefully, RCB gets back to winning ways."
RPS have also had issues with their bowling, one of the main reasons behind their poor performances this season. One of the other reasons is injuries. Big players like Steve Smith, Kevin Pietersen, Faf Du Plessis and Mitchell Marsh have all suffered season-ending injuries, leaving Dhoni with an unsettled lineup.
That is never a great thing when matches come thick and fast, but having found a victory over DD in their last game, RPS will bring some sort of confidence into this match. RCB will look to the win over the Rising Pune Supergiants in the reverse fixture, when their bowlers actually managed to defend a total to fashion an 18-run victory.
The key, however, will be the toss. The team that wins the toss will want to bowl first, and as KKR showed in the last game, any total can be chased from any situation, as long as you build a bit of momentum.
Where to Watch Live
RCB vs RPS is scheduled for a 4 p.m. IST (11.30 a.m. BST, 5.30 a.m. ET) start. Below are the TV and Live Streaming options.
Middle East and North Africa: TV: OSN Sports Cricket. Live Streaming: OSN Cricket Play.
USA: TV: ESPN. Live streaming: Watch ESPN.
Canada: TV: Sportsnet. Live Streaming: Watch Sportsnet.
South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa: TV: Supersport. Live Streaming: Supersport Live Video.
International (ROW): Cricketgateway.