Beleaguered RCB takes on Pune Warriors, hopes to bounce back

Bangalore: Suffering three defeats on a trot, two at home and one away, the beleaguered Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) is hoping to bounce back in the league tie against a strong Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League (IPL) T20 at the Chinnaswamy stadium here Tuesday.

"The team is looking to bounce back in the next match. We can't change past mistakes. Least we can do is to think positive and go out to perform better," RCB opener Mayank Agarwal told reporters Monday, with a sense of dejà vu as the hosts were in a similar plight in the tournament's fourth season last year, having lost three consecutive games after winning the opener.

After winning the first league tie against Delhi Daredevils by 20 runs April 7 here, RCB lost to Kolkata Knight Riders by 42 runs here April 10, to Chennai Super Kings by five wickets in Chennai April 11 and by 59 runs to Rajasthan Royals Sunday on the home turf.

"We were in a similar situation last year, losing three games on the trot after winning the first. But we bounced back. We are again looking to bounce back rather than brood over what happened in the past three matches," Agarwal said.

Asked how the team's confidence level was after a humiliating defeat from underdogs Rajasthan Royals, who outflanked the RCB in bowling as well as batting, Agarwal said the players were still in a positive frame and would go all-out to perform to their potential to get back to winning ways.

"As we have been through this before, we have put it behind and working hard to get our act together. There will be a bit of pressure, as we have to reverse the trend," Agarwal said.

In contrast, an upbeat Pune Warriors is looking at carrying its winning momentum, after having beaten stronger teams like Mumbai Indians by 28 runs April 6 in Mumbai, Kings XI Punjab by 22 runs April 8 at Pune and Chennai Super Kings by seven wickets April 14 at Pune despite losing to Kings XI by seven wickets April 12 at Mohali.

"We have played well to be honest. We have won three out of four. We beat Mumbai and Chennai. We are playing well, but yet it is still early days. It is time for everyone to get back into form," a confident Pune Warriors captain Saurav Ganguly told reporters after a sweat-out at the nets under floodlights in the stadium.

Acknowledging that RCB was still a good side even after losing three games in a row, the Bengal southpaw said the T20 game depended on how one performed on a particular day.

"I thought the Royals played brilliantly yesterday (Sunday). Superb batting by two players (Ajinkya Rahane and Owais Shah). Tomorrow (Tuesday) is a new day and could be different. RCB has got terrific players and we are going fire tomorrow as well," the former Indian captain pointed out.

Asked how different it was captaining India and a T20 team, Ganguly said he enjoyed both, especially when the team wins.

"In any format of the game, you need to think ahead. You need to look at the batsman. You need to look which bowlers will bowl in death overs. As a captain, you need to do this exercise in every format of the game," Ganguly said.

Noting that the Bangalore wicket was good, Ganguly said it was evident from the 195 runs Royals posted against RCB.

"The wicket looks good. The visitors scored 190-odd runs yesterday (Tuesday). We are playing in the same surface and I don't think it is going to change much," he quipped. (IANS)