Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) swashbuckler Ab de Villiers has been declared fit after he sat out the previous two clashes against Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders due to a viral fever. However, on his return, the IPL franchise has received a major boost as they take on rivals and neighbours Chennai Super Kings in the southern derby at the MCA Stadium in Pune.
The 34-year old, who is RCB's second highest run-getter this season with 280 runs, will be back in action and will hope to turn Bangalore's fortunes around. RCB lost the match to KKR, but managed to salvage a win against the Rohit Sharma led Mumbai Indians.
De Villiers is likely to replace RCB wicket-keeper Quinton de Kock who has to fly back home to attend a wedding.
"AB is back fit, Quinton is away from this game. Quinton has returned home for a wedding so he is unavailable for this match so probably it's an easy decision for us to make," said head coach Daniel Vettori.
The former Kiwi spinner also praised compatriot Colin De Grandhomme for the superb finish against Mumbai Indians when he hammered three sixes in the final over.
"Colin (De Grandhomme) did a great job in the last game. I think the 20-odd runs he scored was the reason why we won the game. Really satisfied with how Colin has come into the team.
"Mandeep (Singh) has been consistent. Finishing plays a part when you don't do well at the top. We have done well at the top with the experienced four batsmen generally batting well," said Vettori when asked whether finishing was a concern.
The head coach also expressed satisfaction with the way RCB bowled in their 14-run win against Mumbai Indians in Bengaluru.
"I think we got our combination right. (Tim) Southee has been exceptional, (Mohammad) Siraj has been improving and (Yuzvendra) Chahal and Umesh (Yadav) are tight as ever," the RCB head coach said.