Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) may be assured of a location in the play-offs however a win against Delhi Capitals (DC) and a favorable result in the other match on Friday could help them finish in the top two of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The A defeat to SunRisers Hyderabad dented third-placed RCB’s chances of finishing in the top-2 however the Virat Kohli-led side will be looking to put that behind them.
With 16 points and an inferior internet run-rate to second-placed Chennai Super Kings, RCB’s hopes of a top-two finish has decreased after dropping to SRH. Skipper Virat Kohli, however, will keep an eye on the result of the CSK-Punjab Kings suit on Thursday to get a clear idea about how to go about in their final match to snatch the second spot, which appears a difficult task to say the least.
Despite possessing a formidable batting line-up that includes AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell and Devdutt Padikkal apart from Kohli, RCB could not chase down a below-par 141-7 against SRH and they would want to sort out their batting before entering the knockout stage. Maxwell has been in scintillating form for RCB after a moderate run in 2020 and can turn things around single-handedly as can de Villiers.
The Australian power-hitter has 447 runs with five half centuries and will desire to proceed the good run, while de Villiers hasn’t quite had the affect he would have liked to. If Kohli can get off to a strong start at the top alongside the incredible Padikkal, the powerful middle-order can do a lot of damage.
RCB’s bowling unit too have done well with the likes of Mohammed Siraj, Harshal Patel and George Garton doing the job in the pace department. In spin department, Yuzvendra Chahal has overcome his past struggles with some very remarkable spells this season, while Shahbaz Ahmed too has saved matters in check for his team.
The Rishabh Pant-led Delhi team, on the other hand, has been in formidable form, winning 4 of the last five matches and will seem to end matters on a high in the league phase before going into the qualifier. Skipper Pant has come in for criticism for being over-aggressive and it has to be seen if he indicates a experience of restraint and makes bigger contributions. DC has a strong batting line-up despite the inconsistency of Prithvi Shaw, who most regularly seems to blow hot and cold while Shikhar Dhawan (501 runs from 13 innings) has shown his value at the top. Shreyas Iyer and Pant too have rescued the group few times however they will seek more consistency.
Delhi have a potent bowling attack. While South African pacer Anrich Nortje has breathed furnace and is a consistent threat, his compatriot Kagiso Rabada and Avesh Khan (second in the wicket-takers list with 22 scalps) have been at the batsmen all the time. The spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel (14 wickets) additionally have not been easy to get away however the former has often leaked runs. It would not be a surprise if DC decide to rest Ashwin, considering the amount he has played in the last two months and how much he wants to play, and provide veteran Amit Mishra a run.