About the Match
Sunrisers Hyderabad has had a fairly good season so far. They have four wins out of seven games and sit pretty at the third position in the points table. Royal Challengers, on the other hand, have not come into their own till now and are right at the bottom of the points table. These two teams will now take on each other in the 29th match of the league at Bengaluru on 25th April, and Bangalore needs to win this match at any cost in order to keep their campaign from entering do or die territory.
From the past few games, we are seeing that toss is slowly but steadily losing importance. Teams are now losing chasing even modest totals. For instance, Delhi and RCB lost to Mumbai and KKR respectively and Pune defended a 160-run total against Mumbai Indians. This may be due to the pressure in chasing totals during the business end of the tournament. Chasing has been the order of the day in IPL so far and we might see that happen again, but Hyderabad isn't known to be a place where dew comes into picture and captains might just favor batting first.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Royal Challengers have had a really poor season so far. They have won only two matches in seven games and are at the bottom of the points table. One of their two wins has come against Delhi, which was more about Amit Mishra losing his mind and the game for his team than Bangalore actually winning it. The other was against Gujarat, where Bangalore’s batting was in full flow, but Gujarat made a valiant effort in the chase, undermining a less than potent Bangalore bowling attack.
They have lost all their other games, against Hyderabad, Punjab, Mumbai, Pune and Kolkata, and time is really slipping from their hands in order to stay afloat in the competition.
Royal Challengers spent their first few matches without their captain Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers owing to fitness issues, but since their return, both have looked in decent touch. The issue for RCB seems to be an overdependence on these two players and Chris Gayle.
Bangalore would have hoped for a change of fortunes after their win against Gujarat, but the manner of their defeat against Kolkata, where they were dismissed for 49 runs, the lowest ever team total in IPL, would have sapped all that confidence away from them.
RCB have a good team at their disposal and should they fire collectively, this unit has a lot of potential. Their bowling is a weakness but they have the batting prowess to cover up for it and its high time they start performing as they have already fallen behind a little too much.
Likely Starting XI:
Virat Kohli (c) - Chris Gayle - AB de Villiers - Kedar Jadhav - Mandeep Singh - Stuart Binny - Pawan Negi - Tymal Mills - Shreenath Arvind - Yuzvendra Chahal - Samuel Badree.
Sunrisers started their campaign in stunning fashion with wins at home against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Gujarat Lions. The top order clicked, middle order responded admirably when required and the bowling performed well as a unit.
But after the first two matches, as they moved away from home, things changed dramatically. Against Mumbai, they got a below par final score, and as a result, the bowlers could not defend it despite an inspired spell by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. In the next game against Kolkata, Bhuvneshwar again impressed along with the miserly Rashid Khan but still, the Knight Riders were able to amass 172 runs. The batting unit failed as a whole for the first time here and this resulted in another loss for Sunrisers.
But as Sunrisers returned home for their next two games, back came their mojo as well. They were able to get two fantastic wins against Punjab and Delhi. Bhuvneshwar was menacing against Punjab and Kane Williamson played a great knock against Delhi.
Despite the momentum of these two wins, a move away from home again resulted in a loss for Hyderabad against Pune. They were at the receiving end of an exceptional MSD chase and this loss should not hamper their spirits too much.
Sunrisers have played with a fairly settled unit till now and their bowling has been truly exceptional throughout. They should be hurting from the loss to Pune but at the same time must be fairly confident of coming back to winning ways against and underperforming Bangalore.
Likely Starting XI:
David Warner (c) - Shikhar Dhawan - Kane Williamson - Yuvraj Singh - Moises Henriques - Deepak Hooda - Naman Ojha (wk) - Rashid Khan - Bhuvaneshwar Kumar - Bipul Sharma - Ashish Nehra.
Sunrisers and Bangalore are facing each other for the second time this season. The first encounter was won by Hyderabad and they have been the better team throughout the competition. The match is being held in Bengaluru, which offers some much-needed home advantage to the Royal Challengers; but Hyderabad has already beaten them once and have the bowling to stop their batsmen. RCB, however, will play like wounded lion and we think that their ability to thrive under pressure and knack of hitting it big when it matters the most will take them to a victory in this match