Bengaluru: RCB, one of the five teams in the race for the VIVO IPL 2018 playoffs, will lock horns with table-toppers SRH in Match 51.
Royal Challengers Bangalore have blown hot and cold this season, but they’re getting things together right at the business end. Virat Kohli’s team hadn’t won 2 matches on the bounce in their first 10 matches.
De Villiers and skipper Kohli have been in menacing form with the bat and they would have to bare their fangs yet again. RCB’s net run rate improved significantly, and they now need to win their remaining two matches to progress beyond the league stage. RCB’s other man-in-form is Parthiv Patel; the left-hander has established himself as an important cog with scores of 53, 20, 6 & 40 not out.
Moeen Ali and Corey Anderson also need to make bigger contributions if RCB wants to proceed. The franchise has rode on bowling front pacer Umesh Yadav’s 17 wickets so far in the tournament.
Sunrisers became the first team to secure a playoff berth and were shortly thereafter guaranteed a finish in the top two. SRH should look at those two defeats positively; a blip at this stage which ended the team’s run of 6 consecutive wins would have served as a wake-up call and shaken the players off complacent zones they may have slipped into.
Kane Williamson’s side has had a successful campaign, riding on Shikhar Dhawan, who has amassed 369 runs and Williamson with 54 runs for inspiration. Yusuf Pathan, Manish Pandey and Shakib-Al-Hasan have also proved useful for the side.
Alex Hales has now been dismissed for three low scores; the English opener has the highest strike-rate among SRH’s batsmen, and he needs to survive those early overs to be able to do any significant damage.
Even the bowling attack led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and backed by Siddharth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma, Rashid Khan and Shakib-Al-Hasan.
Head to Head
Overall: Matches – 11, RCB won – 4, SRH won – 7
RCB: Virat Kohli(captain), Quinton de Kock(wicket-keeper), Brendon McCullum, AB de Villiers, Sarfaraz Khan, Mandeep Singh, Chris Woakes, Washington Sundar, Kulwant Khejroliya, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Colin de Grandhomme, Moeen Ali, Manan Vohra, Aniket Choudhary, Navdeep Saini, Murugan Ashwin, Pawan Negi, Mohammed Siraj, Corey Anderson, Parthiv Patel, Aniruddha Joshi, Pavan.
SRH: Alex Hales, Bhuvneshwar, Dhawan, Shakib, Williamson(Captain), Manish Pandey, Carlos Brathwaite, Yusuf Pathan, Wriddhiman Saha, Rashid Khan, Ricky Bhui, Hooda, Siddharth Kaul, T Natarajan, Nabi, Basil Thampi, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Sachin Baby, Chris Jordan, Stanlake, Tanmay Agarwal, Sreevats Goswami, Bipul Sharma, Mehedi Hasan.
The match starts at 8 PM IST.