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|AB de Villiers||69||39||12||1||176.92|
|Colin de Grandhomme||40||17||1||4||235.29|
|Shakib Al Hasan||4.0||0||35||0||8.75|
|Colin de Grandhomme||2.0||0||34||0||17.00|
Just when we thought that Royal Challengers Bangalore was dead and buried, the tournament has thrown up another twist and now Virat Kohli’s men are very much with a chance of making into the playoffs. They need to win their last two matches to have a chance and then some net run rate calculations may come into place. Their opponents for this match, the Sunrisers Hyderabad, have already booked their place in the IPL playoffs and ensured that they will finish in the top-2 as well.
Will complacency creep into the Sunrisers Hyderabad side now that they can take it easy for the last few matches? Can RCB continue their phoenix-like rise from the ashes?
Virat Kohli and his men completed the most comprehensive victory imaginable over the Kings XI Punjab in the last match and have put themselves in a very good position to try and qualify for the playoffs.
The current scenario facing RCB is that it must win both of its next two matches. If a few things go its way then net run rate will not be an issue either.
So what is the reason behind this late resurgence of the Royal Challengers Bangalore?
We think it is the return of form of its two main batsmen, Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. Both the world class batsmen have been scoring runs regularly in the last few matches and will want to continue this form into the closing stages of the IPL as well.
Virat Kohli has elevated himself to the opening position while AB de Villiers also bats at 3 or 4 in most matches. These positions allow the in-form batsmen to dominate the game and dictate its direction.
We have no doubt that one of these batsmen or maybe even both need to have a great game if RCB is to qualify.
The previous match included Moeen Ali, Colin de Grandhomme, Parthiv Patel, Mandeep Singh, and Sarfaraz Khan as the other batsmen in the RCB line-up. That is not a bad lineup by any stretch of the imagination but will it be enough to do the job against the best bowling attack in this tournament?
Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Rashid Khan, and Shakib Al Hasan will fancy themselves against Ali, de Grandhomme, and maybe even de Villiers. If the RCB batting is able to see out the spinners on a pitch that has helped the slower bowlers in the last few matches played there then they have a chance.
RCB’s own bowling attack is not the strongest and has been very inconsistent throughout this tournament. Perhaps no bowler typifies that as well as Umesh Yadav who has veered from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Yadav, Chahal, Southee, Siraj, and Ali will be up against an in-form batting lineup of the SUnrisers Hyderabad. Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, and the others are sure to pose a real threat to the RCB attack.
We think that Yuzvendra Chahal will have to lead the way for RCB if they are to restrict a strong SRH batting side.
Parthiv Patel, Moeen Ali, V Kohli, AB de Villiers, M Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Colin de Grandhomme, TG Southee, Umesh Yadav, M Siraj, YS Chahal.
RCB’s victory against the Kings XI meant that SRH is now assured of a top-2 spot in the IPL regular season standings. The top-2 slot is a coveted one because it ensures an extra chance to qualify for the finals.
This means that the remaining league games hold very little significance for SRH and they can afford to take a few chances or maybe rest a few players. We don’t think that will actually happen, though, because both Kane Williamson and Tom Moody know that the IPL is a packed tournament where maintaining the winning momentum is key.
SRH lost its last match to the Chennai Super Kings and will definitely not want to lose a couple of more on its way to the playoffs.
In fact, having qualified will probably allow the team to play with even more freedom than it already has.
It is a well-known fact that SRH has built its team around a stellar bowling side. Rashid Khan is the top-rated T20 bowler in the world and has proven his class on numerous occasions this season. He is well supported by Siddharth Kaul, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma, and Shakib Al Hasan.
SRH rarely ever uses other part-time bowlers and backs its frontline bowlers to do the job.
We think that Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Rashid Khan will be the key bowlers for SRH in this contest. Sandeep Sharma is threatening with the new ball but can go for plenty of runs if the batsmen are able to see out his first over.
A poor outing against CSK has shown that the SRH bowling attack can be tamed. Players like Siddharth Kaul and Shakib Al Hasan had a very tough outing in that match and they will be nervous bowling to two of the best T20 batsmen in the world.
An underrated aspect of the SRH campaign has been their campaign. Kane Williamson has led their batting effort from the start and ensured they have a solid core to build around. Shikhar Dhawan has been in terrific form and he is going to be the most crucial wicket for the opposition.
Someone like Alex Hales can really wreck havoc on the small boundaries of the Chinnaswamy but he could be bombarded with some spin early on to try and unsettle him. With Manish Pandey, Deepak Hooda/ Yusuf Pathan, and Shakib Al Hasan in the lineup as well, SRH has a very strong batting side.
SRH has almost every base covered and is easily the most balanced side in this tournament. Beating this side will require a special effort because one of their players almost always stands up and delivers.
Shikhar Dhawan, AD Hales, KS Williamson, Manish Pandey, Shakib Al Hasan, Deepak Hooda, Shreevats Goswami, Rashid Khan, Siddarth Kaul, Basil Thampi, S Sharma.
The team winning the toss is likely to field first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
It has been quite some time since a match was held in Bengaluru. This break will have hopefully allowed the curators to prepare a good batting track for this crucial encounter. We think that this wicket will be better than the last few ones Chinnaswamy threw up but some help to the spinners can still be expected.
A score of 170 should be considered par.
The current weather prediction says that there 50% chance of showers around the time when the match gets underway but that the weather should ease up soon after. That means that we should hopefully get a full match in irrespective of interruptions.
SRH has not lost a single game to RCB in the last five matches between the two sides. RCB also does not have the best home record and has struggled to adapt to the conditions that their own curators have prepared.
While we would love to see the qualification drama play out until the last match, we think RCB has come to the end of its campaign.
Back the Sunrisers Hyderabad to win.
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