Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - RCB's chance to make a claim for top two finish. If RCB win their last two matches and if CSK lose their last match against PBKS, Kohli's men can finish on the second spot.
If RCB win their last two matches and if CSK lose their last match against PBKS, Kohli's men can finish on the second spot.
Since the inception of the IPL, most of RCB's campaigns end with a familiar footnote – what a season it could have been! However, things have mostly gone their way so far in the IPL 2021. A couple of defeats at the start of the UAE leg wasn't written in RCB's script, but since then they have been the masters of their own destiny and also qualified for the playoffs. The focus will now shift towards a top-two finish in the league phase.
The RCB camp would be pleased that each time the tide of their campaign seemed to be deviating into the wrong direction, they have found the required players to navigate back towards the right path. In the previous game versus PBKS, it was Glenn Maxwell who turned the tide in RCB's favour and Yuzvendra Chahal provided the finishing touches with the ball. In a game where there wasn't much to choose between the two sides, Maxwell's pyrotechnics against Ravi Bishnoi and Harpreet Brar proved to be the decisive factor.
With Harshal Patel's dipping slower ones pinning down the batters in the slog overs and fringe players like Shahbaz Ahmad and KS Bharat also putting up fine performances, there aren't many concerns. Maybe Kohli would look to up his strike rate at the top of the order. Mohammed Siraj has summoned some quick spells but he has picked up a solitary wicket in the UAE leg so far. Meanwhile, with even the back-door entry to the playoffs having closed on SRH, the Kane Williamson-led side only has pride to play for in their next two matches.
Amid all the off-field controversies surrounding David Warner and dud results, they still had a silver lining to take from their last game versus KKR. Umran Malik – bright-eyed and having the required passion to bowl fast – touched speeds in excess of 90mph. Just the kind of a bowler that SRH perhaps would be eyeing in the next auction. However, SRH's Achilles' heel this season has been the squishy batting unit. Among the available players for the UAE leg of the tournament, only Williamson has averaged over 40 plus this season while none of the main batters have scored at a strike rate of more than 120. In their last game, Abdul Samad showcased flashes of brilliance by lofting Varun Chakravarthy for a couple of sixes, but the think-tank would be hoping for more from the younger lot when they take on a side brimming with confidence.
When: Wednesday, October 6, 2021, at 19:30 IST
Where: Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi
What to expect: At the post-match presentation, MS Dhoni pointed out that the dew came into play during their game versus RR. However, the stadium in Abu Dhabi is the biggest cricket ground in the UAE, and historically tracks have been on the slower side. There was a threat of cyclone ‘Shaheen' lashing the UAE but as per the latest reports it has ‘lost energy'.
Head To Head: RCB 8 – 10 SRH. The last time these two sides met in Chennai, RCB won by a mere six runs.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
Injuries/Unavailable: RCB have a clean bill of health to report. With fringe players also making useful contributions, the franchise could be tempted to play the winning XI.
Tactics and matchups: Glenn Maxwell has injected some fresh energy into RCB's middle-order versus spin. The point can be illustrated by the fact that only Ruturaj Gaikwad has aggregated more runs than Maxwell versus spin in the IPL 2021. He has also cracked the most number of sixes (15) against spin in this IPL.
Probable XI: Virat Kohli (c), Devdutt Padikkal, Srikar Bharat (wk), Glenn Maxwell, AB de Villiers, Daniel Christian, Shahbaz Ahmed, George Garton, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal and Mohammed Siraj.
Injuries/Unavailable: Sandeep Sharma could get a look in as he has troubled Virat Kohli in the past. With Umran impressing in his debut IPL game, he could get another opportunity.
Tactics and matchups: Sandeep has dislodged Kohli seven times in IPL history. Last year, Sandeep developed a delivery that could straighten or just about leave the right-hander. He used it to good effect to pick up the scalp of RCB's skipper in the IPL 2020. Meanwhile, Rashid Khan has had the wood over the great RCB batter – AB de Villiers – and has collected the prized scalp three times.
Probable XI: Jason Roy, W Saha (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Priyam Garg, Abhishek Sharma, Abdul Samad, Jason Holder, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Sandeep Sharma/S Kaul, Umran Malik
Did you know?
– RCB still have to take a wicket in the Powerplay during the second half of the IPL 2021.
– SRH have used as many as 24 players in this IPL. From their original squad, only two players haven't made into the playing XI yet – Basil Thampi and Sreevats Goswami.
– RCB are just one victory away from 100 wins in the IPL.
What they said:
“It feels amazing (qualification). I don't think after 2011, we haven't done it with games to spare, but it's a great position to be in. Eight wins out of 12 games is a great campaign for the team” – Kohli.