RCB eye win over confident SRH to secure play-off berth

IPL 2020 | RCB eye win over confident SRH to secure play-off berth

So far, the Chennai Super Kings are the only team to be out of the reckoning

The Royal Challengers Bangalore players celebrate. Credit: PTI Photo

With an IPL play-off spot at stake, the Royal Challengers Bangalore need to shrug off the disappointment of two back-to-back defeats and put up a strong challenge against the strong-willed Sunrisers Hyderabad when the two teams clash on Saturday.

However, it would be easier said than done since SRH are brimming with confidence after their crushing win over the Delhi Capitals.

The Chennai Super Kings, who are the only team to be out of the reckoning, have spiced up the play-off race with a last-ball win over the Kolkata Knight Riders on Thursday night.

Going by current standings, RCB are better-placed at number two and they need to win one of their remaining two games -- against SRH or DC -- to make the cut.

And even if RCB lose both their matches and stay on 14 points, they can still qualify. But for that, they need favourable results from other games.

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RCB can ill afford to lose both their last two games as it will affect their NRR, resulting in their elimination if other teams on 14 points have higher run rates.

SRH, on the other hand, have nothing to lose. Sitting on the sixth spot with 10 points from 12 games, the Hyderabad outfit need to win their remaining two matches -- against RCB and MI -- to reach 14 points and stay in the reckoning.

Just winning both the games might not be enough for SRH. They would be hoping that at least one out of RCB, DC (14 points) and Kings XI Punjab (12 points) don't reach the magic figure of 16.

If that happens, SRH will progress to the play-offs because of an NRR superior to all the teams who can finish on 14 points.

RCB need to regroup as their confidence definitely took a beating after crushing defeats at the hands of MI and CSK.

While CSK battered Kohli's men by eight wickets in Dubai, MI defeated RCB by five wickets in their last tie in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday night.

For RCB, the batting has been their strength with the likes of Virat Kohli, young in-form opener Devdutt Padikkal, AB de Villiers and Aaron Finch doing the job.

Young Josh Philippe, who replaced Finch in the last match, scored a handy 33 up front but the team's lower middle-order, which has the likes of Shivam Dube, Chris Morris and Gurkeerat Mann, needs to take more responsibility.

Their biggest challenge will be to counter Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan, who remains an mystery for many batsmen in the 2020 IPL season. The pressure he builds with dot balls has helped SRH in big way.

On the bowling front, RCB have been hit hard by a split webbing for Navdeep Saini, who missed their last game. Dale Steyn, who replaced him, was very rusty and leaked runs. Steyn is likely to be replaced by Isuru Udana for this match. 

SRH, on the hand, were clinical in their 88-run win over DC and would look to continue in the same vein.

Skipper David Warner (66) and Wridddhiman Saha (87), were a treat to watch in their 107-run opening partnership against DC, while Manish Pandey (44 not out) continues to shine in the middle-order.

Defending the mammoth 219 for 2, Rashid (3/7) led the SRH bowling unit and dished out an impressive show to bundle out DC for 131.

Besides Rashid, Sandeep Sharma and T Natarajan too were impressive.

The squads:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (c), Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Parthiv Patel (wk), AB de Villiers (wk), Gurkeerat Singh, Shivam Dube, Chris Morris, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Navdeep Saini, Dale Steyn, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa, Isuru Udana, Moeen Ali, Josh Philippe (wk), Pawan Negi, Pavan Deshpande, Mohammad Siraj, Umesh Yadav.

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (c), Jonny Bairstow (wk), Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Shreevats Goswami (wk), Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Wriddhiman Saha (wk), Abdul Samad, Vijay Shankar, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Jason Holder, Abhishek Sharma, B Sandeep, Sanjay Yadav, Fabian Allen, Prithvi Raj Yarra, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Siddharth Kaul, Billy Stanlake, T Natarajan, Basil Thampi.

The match starts at 7.30 pm. 

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